Sunday, 17 December 2017

An attack on the Working Time Directive is an attack on British workers' rights


Lying Brexiteers are actually trying to dress up their move to scrap the Working Time Directive as "taking back control" by "putting the decision how hard to work back into the hands of the people who matter - the ordinary British worker".

In reality this is the exact opposite of what scrapping the Working Time Directive would do.

The Working Time Directive prevents employers from forcing their employees to work more than 48 hours per week.


Under this rule British workers are absolutely free to work more than 48 hours per week if they want to, but nobody can force them to with threats of punishment or the sack if they don't.

If you've never taken advantage of the absolute freedom EU workers have to work beyond 48 hours per week if they want to, just speak to someone who has worked as a doctor in a busy NHS role, a construction worker, a seasonal agricultural worker, in the tourist trade in the summer, or in the retail trade at Christmas time.

The Working Time Directive allows British workers some freedom to decide how many hours they work, and scrapping the Working Time Directive would put the power to decide back into the hands of their employers.

As things are now employers can't force employees to work super-long hours, so if they want them to, they've got to use incentives like overtime and bonuses rather than threats. Removal of the Working Time Directive would allow employers to resort to threats instead, and drastically reduce the financial incentives paid out to those workers who currently chose to work extremely long hours.


It's absolutely outrageous that Brextremists are once again pushing reality-reversing Orwellian propaganda to try and convince the gullible that scrapping workers' rights is good for workers, but these are the kinds of extreme mind games they insist on playing.

Looking into the reasoning behind such dishonest trickery reveals two very clear motivations. One is that they're deciding to lie in this outrageous manner because they believe that they simply can't win the argument with the truth. And the other motivation is the absolute contempt they must have for ordinary working people that they expect them to mindlessly believe the absurd story that revoking the workers' right to decide how much overtime their employer can make them do is somehow giving them more control over their own working lives!

Scrapping the Working Time Directive would definitely be "taking back control" in a way, but it would be taking control of the ability to decide away from British workers and handing it to their bosses.

But who could possibly have imagined that a Brexit process administered by the hard-right fringe of the Tory party would ever have ended up manifesting as anything other than a deliberate upwards redistribution of wealth and power?


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OR

Extreme-Remainers are often just as prone to delusion as the hard-right Brextremist mob


The longer this Brexit farce goes on, the more people are coming to realise that Theresa May and the hard-right fringe of the Tory party are making a total bloody mess of it.

Theresa May's hubris cost her her parliamentary majority, and now she has no choice but to dance to the tune of the most rabid hard Brexiters. 
  • She bribed the DUP bigots £1 billion for them to support her, but they apparently get to call the shots on the Brexit process and humiliate her on the world stage by tearing up her Brexit concessions behind her back just as she was about to hand them in to the EU negotiating team. 
  • She's desperate to please Paul Dacre, the rabidly right-wing editor of the Daily Mail, knowing that if she makes one wrong move Daily Mail hacks won't be whipping their readers up into a hate-mob spewing death threats at Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston, Brexit critiquing academics, or parliamentary sovereignty respecting judges, they'll be coming after her.
  • And then there's the demographic trapdoor she's positioned herself over by appealing to the fanatically right-wing ultra-nationalist Blue-kip demographic. If they dissipate, then Labour would obviously storm to victory, so she's got to keep them happy with plenty of extremist rhetoric. But her problem is that the majority of them are 65+ and they're gradually dying off as the electorate is being rejuvenated at the other end with youngsters who generally abhor the disgusting hard-right bile May needs to spew in order to keep her Blue-kippers happy.
All these factors together mean that Theresa May is being dragged towards an extreme hard Brexit by the Brextremist mob, and there's virtually nothing she can do to stop the situation deteriorating further and turning ever more people against the extreme hard-Brexit position she's taken.

Under these circumstances it would seem sensible to just let them get on with digging themselves deeper and deeper into their fanatical and increasingly unpopular hard-Brexit hole without adopting an equally off-putting position at the opposite extreme of the debate.

Of course there are loads of Leave supporters who don't propagandise for the hardest most destructive form of Brexit or erupt in frenzies of animalistic death threat spewing rage whenever anyone acts to defend parliamentary sovereignty from Theresa May's anti-democratic plotting

And of course there are loads of Remainers who recognise that the EU is far from perfect, but who have massive reservations about staggering chaotically out of it in an unplanned "let's make it up as we go along" Tory Brexit that is being administered by the incompetent dregs of the hard-right fringe of the Tory party.

In my view the majority of British people actually fall into this middle ground of relative Brexit moderation, however the minority of highly vocal Brextremists are matched by another minority of extreme-Remainers who are often just as prone to delusional thinking as their polar opposites.

Take AC Grayling as an example. I don't have a problem with the guy banging on all the time about how bad Brexit is. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and to be fair to him, the toxic brew of incompetence, malice, secrecy and anti-democratic Brexit scheming from the Tories makes a lot of what he's saying about Brexit being a terrible idea ring dead true.

What winds me up about him is the absurd delusion that Labour would be doing so much better if they had a leader who opposes Brexit as vehemently has be does. 


Grayling's latest absurd expression of this view is his claim that Labour would be on 65% in the polls with an alternative anti-Brexit leader.

If only Labour had a leader to tell half the voting public they're idiots who need to be ignored, then they'd become more popular than even Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair were at the absolute peaks of their popularity! 

What Grayling and his ilk ignore is that Jeremy Corbyn pulled off a political miracle at the 2017 General Election by inspiring the biggest increase in the Labour vote since 1945. Corbyn did this by doing two things that were considered politically impossible; bringing out the youth vote and engaging millions of previously disillusioned non-voters, which increased the Labour vote by 3.5 million.
 

It's only by creating this massive upsurge in Labour support that Corbyn managed to do the seemingly impossible and prevent the combined Tory+UKIP vote from winning a massive majority with which they would have enforced pretty much the worst kind of hard-right autocratic Brexit imaginable with nobody to moderate their most terrifying extremes.

Would a Blair type figure pushing a "sore loser" campaign have achieved such a huge reversal of the long-term Labour decline?

I strongly doubt it given that the Lib-Dems actually ran a "sore loser" campaign in 2017 and somehow managed to slightly reduce their vote share from what most politically engaged people assumed to be their absolute nadir in 2015.

And then there's the 65% figure. Where is Grayling's justification for such an extraordinary claim? There simply isn't any justification for claiming that replacing Jeremy Corbyn with a  "Remaniac" would result in such an unprecedented surge of Labour Party support. 

In fact this 65% figure is exactly the same kind of unjustifiable hyperbole/made-up-fact rubbish that the Brexiteers lobbed around so gratuitously during the referendum debate isn't it?

The idea that an anti-Brexit Labour leader would suddenly begin hoovering up support like no political leader has ever done before is clearly an extraordinary delusion, and it's obvious where the delusion is stemming from.

People who are highly engaged in politics (and I include myself in this) have a tendency to massively over-estimate how engaged everyone else is in stuff like politics, economics, constitutional matters and legal affairs. 

The extreme Remainers have conned themselves into believing that tens of millions of ordinary people give as much of a damn about the intricacies of the Brexit process as they do themselves. So the ludicrous fantasy of an anti-Brexit white knight Blair-type figure riding an unprecedented wave of popularity into Downing Street to completely cancel Brexit actually seems like a realistic proposition to them!

The extreme-Remainers are clearly just as prone to delusional thinking as the Brextremists, while the great majority of people who haven't adopted such an extreme polarised opinions look on in bemusement at the crazed fanaticism from both sides.
 
In my view openly pining for an anti-Brexit Blair type figure to somehow take over the Labour Party and nick the Lib-Dems' anti-Brexit stance is as futile as it is delusional. 

Such a move wouldn't cause people to flock to the Labour cause as Grayling is imagining, in fact it would likely result in a huge exodus of voters, leaving the Tories to resurrect themselves by painting Labour as a disrespectful and out-of-touch metropolitan elite and as an anti-democratic bunch of sore losers, thus shoring up their Blue-kip vote while the Corbyn surge fades away.

In my view the best course of action for those who are (rightly) worried about the way Brexit is panning out is to continually fight against the kind of hard-right ultra-nationalist anti-democratic Brexit the Brextremists are pushing for, by relentlessly holding the Tories account, and pointing out that they're doing the bidding of a tiny minority of extremely noisy Brextremist puppet-masters.

Just think about it. Even if the entire concept of an anti-Brexit white knight appearing to usurp the Labour Party wasn't totally ludicrous in its own right, who are the likely candidates? Chuka Umunna? David Lammy? Neil Coyle? Yvette Cooper? A triumphant return for Tony Blair himself?

You'd have to be even more out-of-touch than the most crazed Brextremists to think that binning Jeremy Corbyn and the fantastic 2017 Labour Manifesto and replacing them with a hardline Remainer from the discredited right-wing of the Labour Party would be such a massive mega-hit with the Labour Party membership, or with the general public.

But apparently there are people who actually believe in nonsense like that, just as there are Brextremists who believe that we can perform a ruinous cliff edge "no deal" Brexit and end up better off as a result!

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OR

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Scottish Tory Annie Wells and her contempt for poor and ordinary people


The Tory MSP Annie Wells has come out with an extraordinary attack on millions of ordinary people that implies those earning below £33,000 per year are not ambitious hard-working or successful.

She posted her insulting Twitter rant in response to the Scottish government budget that included small income tax rises for people earning above £33,000 per year.

Her Tweet claimed that the progressive tax reforms implemented by the SNP government sent a message "don't be ambitious, don't be hard-working, don't be successful" to higher income Scots who have to pay a little bit more tax to fund public services, and things like free university education and free prescriptions. The clear implication of her rant being that people who earn less than £33,000 per year are not ambitious, not hard-working, and not successful.

This obnoxious elitist stance is yet another Tory assertion of the self-attribution fallacy: The warped idea that there is a form of natural economic justice at play ensuring that rich people become rich because they're superior, and poorer people remain poorer because of some inherent failing or moral deficiency (not because society is rigged against them and in favour of out-of-touch elitists like Annie Wells).

To put her toxic views into context the starting salary of a police officer in Scotland is £23, 493, a nurse starts on £22,128, and a firefighter begins on £22,017. All of these people earn at least £10,000 below Annie Wells' cutoff point.

Even if these public sector workers work hard over the years and climb the pay scale to eventually earn above £33,000, the SNP budget also includes decent pay raises for public sector workers, so they might have to pay a few extra pence a week in tax, but in return for much better pay than their counterparts in the rest of the UK. If they were lucky enough to benefit from Scotland's policy of free university education, they'd also save a fortune by not having to pay out chunks of their salary every month on aspiration tax either.

Annie Wells earns £60,000 per year as a member of the Scottish Parliament, which means she's raging that she's facing a 29p per week increase in income tax.

As many people have asserted, tax is the subscription fee we pay to live in a civilised society. Annie doesn't want to pay a tiny bit more because she's a high profile member of a political party that has spent seven long years actively repressing the wages of UK workers, and especially public sector workers like police, NHS staff and fire fighters.


It's vital to acknowledge that not all high earners are as selfish as Annie and her Tory chums. Several of people responded to her insulting Tweet by saying that they're perfectly happy to pay a few quid extra in tax to make Scotland a better and more progressive country (see image).

Annie is furious because she's bitterly opposed to the concept of a society where public sector workers wages rise in line with inflation. She's also firmly opposed to the idea of a society in which education is treated as social good that benefits all of society, rather than a commodity to be sold at the highest possible price so that people from ordinary backgrounds who aspire to better themselves end up in £50,000+ debt (like students in England do thanks to her Tory party colleagues' imposition of the highest public university tuition fees in the world).

Annie's contemptuous Tweet crying that a minority of Scottish people who are doing really quite well in life might have to pay an extra few pennies a week in order to make Scotland a slightly fairer and more civilised place just goes to prove how out-of-touch she is with the realities faced by millions of Scottish people who aren't doing as well as she is financially, and the fact that like most Tories, she only really gives a damn about serving the interests of the rich.


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OR


The conspiracy-mongering and censorship frenzy of Tory MP David Morris




The Tory MP David Morris has claimed that contributors to a report by ITV into poverty in his local constituency of Morecambe in Lancashire were lying about extreme poverty as part of a plot by the left-wing Labour pressure group Momentum.

This is an incredible display of conspiracy-mongering because he's actually claiming that the doctors and teachers in the following clip are making up their concerns as part of a concerted left-wing political conspiracy.



If this Tory MP's evidence-free smears were actually true and the doctor was lying about having seen children with malnutrition-based illnesses just for political reasons, he would face being struck off the medical register.

And the teachers would also face serious disciplinary action and probably the sack too if the Tory MP's lazy smears about them making up lies for political reasons were true.

But David Morris is absolutely and totally free to make up politically motivated smears as a feeble effort to distract public attention away from child poverty in his constituency.

And that's the difference between Westminster politics and the rest of us right there in a nutshell.

If people in ordinary jobs get caught telling disgraceful politically motivated lies in our jobs, we'd face disciplinary action or the sack. But Tory MPs  like David Morris are absolutely free to fall back on brazen lies and ridiculous smears whenever they like, with no fear of punishment from their party, or from the (absolutely toothless joke of a) parliamentary standards authority.

It's clearly one set of rules for us 'lower order plebs' and another completely different and far more lax set of rules for out-of-touch Tory elitists like David Morris.

And to make matters worse Morris has now had an entire day to apologise for his evidence-free smear-mongering, but has instead doubled down on his claims and instigated a massive purge of his Facebook page to block people from questioning his statements, claiming that the negative public reaction to his original smears is another conspiracy by Momentum!

One of his Facebook posts shows 72 comments in the thread, but only one comment has survived the purge, while another post shows 65 comments in the thread with not a single one surviving his censorship frenzy.

This scandal has demonstrated a lot of things about David Morris. He indulges in paranoid conspiracy theories; he refuses to provide any evidence to back up his wild assertions; he has contempt for public sector workers like teachers and doctors; he ruthlessly censors all critical comments from his Facebook page; and worst of all is his complete disregard for the children growing up in shocking poverty in his own constituency.

All of these things show how utterly unfit David Morris is for public service, so let's hope the people of Morecambe and Lunesdale overturn his slim 1,339 majority at the next election and give him the sack that he so thoroughly deserves.

And let's also hope that the doctor and teachers he has smeared consider taking legal action against him for spreading defamatory comments that damage their professional reputations, and endanger their careers.


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OR

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The British Medical Journal is suddenly back in fashion at the BBC!


If you rely on the BBC for the majority of your news coverage you won't have heard about the damning British Medical Journal study linking Tory austerity dogma with 120,000 excess deaths already since 2010 because the BBC outright refused to cover it.

The BBC excuse for not covering the findings of the study at all was that the evidence was supposedly not reliable enough, and that the public are just too thick to understand explanations of the caveats in the peer reviewed study.

The BBC attitude was that it's better to just bury the report completely than try to explain it in its proper context: Screw the fact that the study is appearing in one of the most respected peer-reviewed magazines in the world. Screw the fact that the study was produced by academics from several of the world's most respected universities (Oxford, Cambridge, University College London). It'll look bad for the Tories, and it'll look bad for us because we've allowed all of their economically illiterate austerity dogma to go unchallenged all these years, so let's just keep this from the public.

The BBC didn't count on the growing influence of independent media. They didn't count on the fact that their efforts to bury the story created ideal "what the BBC don't want you to know" clickbait headlines. They didn't count on independent media digging into the details of the dodgy "independent" advisory group that the BBC claim advised them to provide no coverage of the story whatever to find that they're bankrolled by the pro-Tory Daily Mail and the British government themselves!

The story flared up from "people are dying because of Tory austerity dogma" into the much bigger and more sinister story that "people are dying because of Tory austerity dogma and the BBC are deliberately hiding the fact from the public".

Perhaps executives at the BBC didn't realise how much damage they've done to their own reputation with a cover-up like this? Perhaps they didn't realise that huge numbers of people are disgusted that they decided to act more like PR agents for the Tory party than an impartial public service broadcaster? Perhaps they've just forgotten about it and hoped it went away?

Well it certainly seems like the case because the British Medical Journal are suddenly back in fashion at the BBC thanks to an (actually rather interesting) article about the increasing size of wineglasses in the UK over the Centuries.

I have my doubts that the BBC subjected the BMJ wine glass study to the same critique as the BMJ deadly austerity study last month in order to check for caveats and possible misunderstandings in order to spike the story completely, but then the wine glass story doesn't paint a damning picture of the Tory government and the mainstream media hacks who abjectly failed to properly hold them to account over the appalling consequences of their actions, so why on earth would they?

As interesting as the wineglass story is, it's clearly an absolutely damning indictment of the BBC that they think that there's somehow of more public interest in wine glass sizes than a study linking the deaths of 3,000 people per month for five punishing years with Tory austerity dogma.


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OR

The 5 unsung Labour heroes of the Amendment 7 vote


Much credit has been given to the 11 Tory MPs who joined forces with the opposition parties to defeat Theresa May's authoritarian scheming by bravely voting in favour of Amendment 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, but there are five unsung heroes on the Labour benches too.

Of course the Tory "Mutineers" led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve deserve credit for having put country above party for once. 

They'll obviously always be tainted by their numerous votes in favour of imposing ruinous Tory austerity dogma that has done so much damage to the British economy, public services, workers' wages, and productivity, as well as severely retarding the nation's future economic potential through the lowest levels of infrastructure investment in the developed world. However they definitely deserve credit for doing something right for a change, and standing up for the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, especially given the torrent of abuse they knew they'd suffer at the hands of the Daily Mail and the extreme-right for daring to do the right thing.

The five unsung heroes on the Labour benches are Dennis Skinner, Graeme Morris, Ronnie Campbell, John Mann and Roger Godsiff.

As you may already know, these are all pro-Brexit Labour MPs, but they all made the important distinction between backing Theresa May's objective of turning Brexit into an anti-democratic power grab, and conducting Brexit in a democratic manner.

Their ability to make this distinction between an authoritarian Tory Brexit and a Brexit conducted in a democratic manner led them to vote alongside the majority of their Labour colleagues, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Lib-Dems and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party to curtail Theresa May's anti-democratic authoritarian tendencies.


The vote was won 309-305 meaning that without the votes of these five pro-Brexit MPs the amendment to ensure a proper democratic vote on the final Brexit deal would have been defeated, which would have allowed Theresa May and a tiny cabal of hard-right Tories to conduct the Brexit negotiations purely for their own self-interest, with nobody to hold them to account.

These guys deserve a lot of credit for seeing beyond the outrageously polarised Brexiteer vs Remainer political tribalism and voting for what is actually right, rather than voting tribalistically with their fellow Brexiteers on the Tory benches. 


In fact two of the pro-Brexit Labour MPs (Kate Hoey and Frank Field) actually voted with the Tories and the DUP to back Theresa May's authoritarian and anti-democratic interpretation of the Brexit mandate, but thankfully they were outnumbered by the five pro-Brexit Labour MPs with enough sense and respect for democracy to support Amendment 7.

The sad thing is that if the Tory party wasn't so full of spineless Tory MPs who just did as they were told by the whips and traipsed through the lobby to support Theresa May's anti-democratic interpretation of the Brexit mandate, this vote wouldn't have even been even remotely close.

The reality of the situation is that nobody who respects democracy or the principle of parliamentary sovereignty can possibly justify voting against an amendment to ensure that whatever Brexit outcome Theresa May and David Davis cobble together is subject to a democratic vote.


So you may well disagree with the pro-Brexit stance of these five Labour MPs, but you've got to admit that at least they're principled about it. They want Britain to leave the EU, but unlike their Brexiter bretheren in the Tory party these five want it done in an open and democratically accountable manner.

The final Brexit deal will be subject to a vote in the European Parliament, and then ratification by the 27 national parliaments of the remaining EU states. It would have been beyond ridiculous if Britain was the only country involved in the Brexit negotiations to not have a democratic parliamentary vote on the final deal, but that's the situation Theresa May, the majority of the Tory party and the DUP bigots voted for.

As absurd as it is that the vote was as close as 309-305 in favour of defending democracy, it's clear that without the contributions of these pro-democracy Brexiter Labour MPs (and the "mutineer" Tory MPs who got the bulk of the publicity) Amendment 7 would have failed, and the wannabe-tyrant Theresa May would undoubtedly have taken its failure as a mandate to avoid having any kind of democratic vote on the final terms of the Brexit agreement whatever.

So if you're opposed to a secretive and anti-democratic Tory Brexit concocted by a tiny cabal of hard-right Tory politicians, take a moment to remember that five Labour Brexiteers played a massive role in preventing that horrifying scenario from coming true.

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OR

Where is the mainstream media condemnation of the extremist blue-kip takeover of the Tory party?


Remember when Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader and the mainstream media had an absolute fit over it? Remember when the hundreds of thousands of new Labour Party members he attracted were continually smeared by the press as "infiltrators" and "entryists"? 

Then there was the way that any talk of democratising the Labour Party from within was described as if democratic re-selection of MPs was some kind of terrifying ideological "purge", rather than a means of actually holding them to account for their actions.

And the way that everyone involved from Corbyn all the way down to the hundreds of thousands of Labour members and supporters who voted for him were repeatedly smeared as "extremists".

Despite all of this rhetoric Corbyn's election and re-election as Labour leader were actually fantastic demonstrations of grass roots democracy in action. 

An out-of-touch clique of right-wing Labour MPs plotted to get rid of him in the summer of 2016, but ordinary Labour voters unified behind Corbyn because they want a proper party of democratic socialism, not another feeble austerity-lite imitation of the Tory party. 

However the mainstream press didn't present it that way at all. Instead they created the narrative that Corbyn represented some kind of terrifying extremist take-over of the Labour Party by a disgusting horde of dangerously left-wing extremists, then they pushed this warped version of events as hard as they damned well could (from the rabid right Daily Mail all the way through to the faux-left Guardian).

The truly incredible thing is that the United Kingdom is now witnessing a very real extremist takeover of a major political party, yet the mainstream press absolutely refuse to portray it in the same terms as their fantastical narratives about "entryism", "extremism", "infiltrators" and "purges" they concocted over the Labour revival under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Theresa May has taken an extreme and belligerent approach to Brexit from the beginning. She's repeatedly shown contempt for parliamentary sovereignty, and the rule of law. Again and again she's tried to bypass parliament and to conduct the Brexit process in the most secretive and unaccountable manner possible.

She's also tried to appeal to the basest instincts of the hard-right Blue-kip demographic who abandoned the absolute wreckage of UKIP in order to mindlessly follow her because she's waving the Brexit flag she so opportunistically nicked off actual Brexiteers when it suited her career interests to do so.

Ever since her vanity election backfired Theresa May has demonstrably been a hostage of the most fanatical elements of the Tory-DUP coalition she's cobbled together.

The faction of her own party that has the most sway over her has clearly been the hard-right Europhobes who see Brexit as a brilliant opportunity to trash workers' rights, consumer protections, food standards, environmental regulations, parliamentary sovereignty and literally anything else that might get in the way of their dream of a terrifyingly hard-right Tory hegemony.

Then there's the DUP bigots who took their £1 billion bribe, and have then proceeded to demonstrate that they're in absolute control, and that May can't do anything on Brexit without their approval first.


And then there was the Amendment 7 rebellion. 11 Tory MPs defied Theresa May and voted with the opposition parties in order to ensure that the final Brexit deal is subject to parliamentary approval before it becomes law.

The howls of outrage over this rebellion in defence of parliamentary sovereignty were extraordinary. The one "mutineer" who held an official position in the party (Stephen Hammond) was revenge sacked immediately, and there were soon calls for all of the "rebel" MPs to be thrown out of the party and banned from ever standing as Tory MPs again.

Contrast this extreme Tory intolerance of dissent with the Labour left's calls for democratic re-selection of Labour MPs and it's extraordinary to see the latter situation was greeted with screams of "purge, purge, purge" while this brazen Tory display of intolerance towards dissent barely elicits a murmur of mainstream media commentary!

Then there's the fact that this abusive and intimidatory atmosphere towards pro-democracy Tory MPs has been nurtured by the outside group Leave.EU, which is the propaganda outlet of the extreme Brexiteer and UKIP donor Arron Banks.

Just consider the concerted mainstream media campaign of demonisation against the internal ans accredited Labour campaign group Momentum, and contrast it with the absolute silence on the powerful grip Arron Bank's dodgy extreme-right propaganda outfit is exerting over the Tory party.

It's obvious to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that the Tory party is being usurped by an extreme-right anti-democratic faction right in front of our eyes, yet the mainstream press won't even describe it for what it is, let alone launch into the kind of hyperbolic language that is very much more appropriate now than when they used it to fearmonger about the rejuvenation of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.


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OR

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Listen up Theresa, you don't actually need a dick to be a misogynist


Theresa May has resorted to a crude display of dick-counting in order to score cheap political points against Labour. She was trying to make the absurd case that because she's a woman and Jeremy Corbyn is a man, the Tories are somehow more female-friendly than Labour.

The glaring problem for Theresa May and her Tory colleagues is that they have repeatedly voted in favour of imposing ruinous austerity dogma on the British economy. Not only does Tory austerity dogma (or deliberate under-investment as it could also be described) provably cause vast amounts of social and economic damage in general, but 86% of the burden of it has been loaded onto the shoulders of women from poor and ordinary women.

The reality is that Theresa May and her Tory mates are the misogynists who believe in economically punishing millions of women from poor and ordinary backgrounds for the reckless gambling of the wealthy (and mainly male) bankers who trashed the global economy and caused the soaring UK budget deficit in the first place.

On the other hand Labour and Jeremy Corbyn want to scrap the Tories' ruinous and discriminatory austerity agenda, and implement numerous policies that would benefit women across the UK too. For example the Labour policy of a £10 minimum wage would benefit millions of women, because the vast majority of workers earning poverty pay are female.

So while Theresa May and her elitist Tory chums focus on cock-counting to score cheap political points as they simultaneously discriminate against women from the 'lower orders', Jeremy Corbyn has come up with policies to actually help ordinary women who aren't lucky enough to earn £142,500 a year like Theresa May does. The kind of women who aren't wealthy enough to totally insulate themselves from the devastating consequences of Tory austerity fanaticism that are suffered every day by women outside the wealthy establishment class.

The simple truth of the matter is that you don't actually have to have a dick to be an outrageous misogynist, and possession of a penis doesn't disbar you from fighting for women's rights either.


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OR

The Tories and DUP are plotting to use Brexit as an excuse to tamper with democracy in Scotland and Wales.


Remember when the Brexit campaigners told us all that voting Leave would give the Tory party (and their uber-nationalist DUP mates) the pability to amend the powers of the Scottish parliament and the Welsh Assembly with no democratic oversight of their actions whatever?

No. Me neither.

Well on the evening of December 12th 2017 the Tories and their DUP backers/puppet-masters joined forces to defeat Amendment 158 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill by 315 votes to 291.

Amendment 158 sought to prevent the Westminster government from misusing the powers they were awarding themselves to amend EU derived laws in order to undermine the powers of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

This safeguard is vitally important because there are plenty in the Tory and DUP ranks who would dearly love to restrict the power of the devolved parliaments, if not scrap them altogether. 

All 13 of the Tory MPs representing Scottish seats voted with the government to let them keep the power to alter or revoke devolved powers from their own national parliament without any parliamentary scrutiny of what they are actually up to!

Unless you follow SNP or Plaid Cymru politicians on Twitter you will have heard very little about this vote because the mainstream media have decided to completely ignore it.

Ignoring such a significant constitutional matter is bizarre enough in its own right, but this media silence is quite simply extraordinary given that this contentious vote occurred on the very same day that the entire corporate mainstream media erupted in an explosion of anti-Facebook fury over weeks old comments from a disgruntled former Facebook employee!

The corporate media will go into a frenzy of churnalism over ex-employee attacks former employer comments from weeks ago, but not one of them will even bother to explain the details of the Brexit legislation the Tories are currently ramming through parliament with the support of their fanatical DUP backers/puppet-masters?


If we look back to the whole debacle over English Votes for English Laws, the hypocrisy of the Tory party is truly revealed. They voted to ban Scottish Westminster MPs from voting on anything they define as an "English law", but when it comes to Brexit, they've voted to allow English government ministers to use Brexit as an excuse to redefine or even scrap the powers of the Scottish parliament!

Of course a significant percentage of Brexit voters were the kind of hard-right tabloid-addled little Englanders who actually take Nigel Farage's ravings seriously, but a hefty percentage never were.

However it should be obvious to all by now that Brexit is being dictated by the hard-right fringe of the Tory party, and you couldn't really get a more callous and opportunistic bunch than that lot. If they see an opportunity to use Brexit as an excuse to reduce the political power of Scottish and Welsh voters then of course they're going to try to take it.

Even if Brexit wasn't solely an exercise in anti-democratic Little Englanderism before the referendum result came in, this vote to scrap Amendment 158 shows that it certainly is now.

The Tories are already determined to use Brexit as an excuse to rewrite thousands of UK laws with no democratic scrutiny whatever, and their vote against Amendment 158 is proof that they're keen on rewriting the laws that established and defined the devolved Scottish and Welsh parliaments, and doing that without any democratic scrutiny too.

The direction of travel is absolutely obvious, and anyone (regardless of their views on the EU) who continues to support the profoundly anti-democratic and increasingly British-nationalist approach the Tories are taking to Brexit surely forfeits their right to consider themselves a supporter of democracy.

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