It seems Manchester is likely to host twice as many protesters against the Conservatives as last time they held their conference in the city – but will the national TV media deign to cover the protests, or will they ignore the impressive list of events, as they did last year?
As many as 100,000 anti-Tory protesters could descend on Manchester this weekend when the Conservative party conference returns to the city, according to one pressure group attending.
Various anti-Tory protests and events are scheduled to take place, including a comedy night, Laugh Them Out of Town, featuring Frankie Boyle, and a rally at which the Labour and Green leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Natalie Bennett are among the speakers.
The main event however, is a huge anti-austerity national demonstration organised by the TUC and the People’s Assembly, which is expecting more than 100,000 marchers, double the number of people that attended last time the Tories were in town. Other projections have been slightly more modest.
If the political system remains committed to the type of capitalism that exists in Britain today, it will always end up justifying a system that produces a mega-rich and privileged elite. Hence, why Jeremy Corbyn is such a threat to the establishment.
Jeremy Corbyn looks like the first senior politician who will not be corrupted by the establishment. Bankers will not be funding the party. He will not support war. He doesn’t support Israel, He is not religious and doesn’t believe in the monarchy. He will be the first prime minister (if elected) for decades that does not, and probably will not support the establishment.
So frightened of Corbyn, the establishment is now mobilising their entire resourcefullness at him, evidenced by a threatened military coup – not quite akin to Chile in the 1970’s but an extreme tactic to say the least, one spawned from desperation for sure.
David Cameron has accused some British overseas territories and crown dependencies of not doing enough to tackle tax evasion and money laundering.
But shouldn’t we be asking, after more than five years, why David Cameron’s government has not done enough to tackle tax evasion and money laundering?
Why do we have a tax gap of anything up to £120 billion a year? Recovering that money would clear the national deficit at a stroke and make huge inroads into the national debt – and it is money that legally belongs to the UK government.
David Cameron and his Chance(llo)r, George Osborne, have been extremely relaxed about collecting it from the fatcat businesses and individuals who can afford to bank their money offshore, preferring instead to lean hard on the poor – and hardest on benefit claimants, one of whom, it has been shown, died because of the policies of Cameron’s government.
Now we’re being given this:
The prime minister took the offshore financial centres to task on Wednesday during a trip to the Caribbean and said not enough progress was being made towards transparency.
Over the past few years, Cameron has repeatedly urged territories such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to introduce central public registers of company ownership, thereby allowing law enforcement agencies to trace criminals behind firms that are currently anonymous.
While UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his chancellor George Osborne claim their austerity policies are making the UK economy stronger, a devastating report by the World Economic Forum argues otherwise.
In fact, parts of the UK economy are now performing worse than Haiti and Zimbabwe.
The World Economic Forum releases it’s Global Competitiveness Survey every year, a major report that is read and referenced by decision makers in politics and business the world over. This year, the UK slipped from 9th to 10th overall, out of the 140 countries studied.
But if Cameron and Osborne are saying the UK economy is not only in recovery, but the fastest growing economy in the developed world, how can we be slipping down the league tables?
This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria [Image: BBC].
Russia is bombing parts of Syria in raids that appear to have been planned, not to relieve the suffering of innocent people there, but to cause logistical and diplomatic problems for the USA and its allies.
According to the BBC, Russia has claimed it is targeting Islamic State, but a US official has said none of the targets appear to be in IS-held territory. War planes have attacked what appears to be territory held by rebels against Syrian President Assad in the Homs and Hama provinces.
This has created serious complications in what are already seriously-complicated hostilities.
Russia gave the US an hour’s notice that it would be launching air strikes, along with a demand that America and its allies, in effect, get out of the way – but we don’t know who the targets are.
America is, in its usual bullish manner, saying it won’t halt any of the operations it has already planned with its own allies.
This makes it possible that US and Russian forces will end up shooting each other – even if they say they don’t mean to. Americans have an extremely poor record in this regards – as their British allies in the Second Gulf War learned to their cost.
In the midst of all this, the UK’s damned-fool Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has asserted that this country will continue bombing IS, in Syria, for “as long as it takes” – even though the Conservative Government has no Parliamentary mandate to do anything of the kind.
MPs rejected military action in Syria, almost exactly two years ago. They have since approved strikes against IS in Iraq, but the ban on raids in Syria is technically still in force. Our personnel should not be there.
In the light of the new development, there is even more reason for the UK to pull out of Syria – but of course our Defence Secretary is a damned fool.
This is a situation that could escalate into a shooting war between America and Russia, if damned fools like him are allowed to continue running around like bulls in front of red rags. That should be the last thing anybody wants – but do you see anybody trying to stop it?
And what about the innocent parties in all this – the Syrian citizens who just want to be left in peace? Nobody seems to care about them, even though the addition of Russia into this apocalyptic mess means even more refugees streaming into Europe.
If anybody has any ideas about how to restore sanity, could they please make those ideas known – before we’re all blown to smithereens?
Is Oxfam really a branch of ‘Socialist International’, as Tories apparently believe?
Beneath the cynical rhetoric of David Cameron’s “big society” there was a proposition. It said to the voluntary sector: we need you. As we cut public spending we hope social provision can – at least to face-saving extent – step in. We will (they implied) cherish you, dish out knighthoods to your top people and invite them to join commissions and parlays.
Suddenly, the Tories turned. Tory MPs such as Priti Patel were encouraged to recruit the media in attacking charity “fat cats”. The cabinet sent the hapless third sector minister, Nick Hurd, to conferences to explain that not only would there be no extra money for charities to pick up the pieces from cuts to councils but they would have to put up with severe reductions in support.
When Chancellor George Osborne proposed cutting tax relief on charity donations, was it an accident or part of some grand design?
It’s been the same story with fundraising, where the NCVO’s Sir Stuart Etherington is proposing complicated new machinery that, even if it is really self-regulation, looks and smells like at least one new quango .
Meanwhile, the government is running a coach and horses through the charitable status of housing associations.
And, a further sign of alienation, charities appear to have been left out of the Osborne devolution agenda.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.