Johnson’s government has spent £100 million on consultants because he can’t think for himself

The cost of privatisation: faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, Boris Johnson has paid consultants more than £100 million to do his thinking for him – and the cash has been wasted. Clearly it’s money for old rope, considering the failure of every policy announced by Johnson and his cronies including Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and Dominic Raab. And the waste is very clearly a result of privatisation; before Tory neoliberalism demanded that even ideas should be outsourced, governments used to rely on people called civil servants who spent their entire…

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?

I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich. In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit. Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place: The A levels are the ruling class brazenly saying – “we’ll fix society now like we always have” Only thing, this time you can see the workings Mind you, anyone who dares to REALLY challenge…

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Tory wage and benefit cuts mean millions are struggling to pay essential bills

Nearly 2.2 million people in the UK are struggling to pay council tax, rent and utility bills because they aren’t paid enough, according to research by two universities. The reason is Conservative restrictions on pay rises since 2010. So much for the “trickle-down” economics of neoliberalism, beloved by Boris Johnson and his cronies. The research by the University of Birmingham and the University of Lincoln shows that nearly 1.6 million people have fallen behind with council tax payments. Nearly a million people are behind with their rent and more than a…

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Teen climate activist shames the world – but the Tories are trying to expand fracking across the UK

Climate change “negotiators” got a hard lesson in their own shortcomings – from a minor. Greta Thunberg is only 15, but she packed more maturity into her three-minute speech than we’ve seen in decades of mealy-mouthed “negotiations” between representatives of national and international economic interests. The Swedish activist shamed her elders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP24, where representatives eventually managed to reach a weak agreement over how to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. But everybody there knew they weren’t doing nearly enough to achieve that…

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Is this the most disgraceful comment ever associated with Brexit?

Economist Andrew Lilico deserves recognition. This Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Chairman of the IEA/Sunday Times Monetary Policy Committee, as chief economist of Policy Exchange from 2009-10, produced what the BBC has described as the “essential theory” behind the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government’s initial deficit reduction strategy. Not only that, he also takes credit for being the lead economist of the UK’s official Leave campaign that led to Brexit. The association with the two atrocities against the UK’s population mentioned above – austerity and Brexit – should…

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Theresa May asked Labour supporters to look at her government afresh. They found a stain on their country

“We’ve had a so-called ‘Iron Lady’, but this one’s brass is tarnished beyond control.” That was just one of the responses to Theresa May’s brazen (see what I did there?) bid to entice disenchanted Labour voters into the clutches of the Conservatives, with the complicity of the formerly left-wing Guardian/Observer. I’m guessing she thought people who believe those papers are still left-wing would be fooled. That doesn’t seem to have worked out too well for her! In her begging letter published by the paper, she wrote (reproduced from May’s Facebook page…

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100,000 retail jobs lost – ironically, because of greed

What would Napoleon have made of this? His “nation of shopkeepers” is falling apart – all by itself. And it’s all down to greed. That would be greed by big companies, that are leaving the UK because they know a Tory-negotiated Brexit well mean a drop in profits. Greed by company bosses who preferred to keep retail profits for themselves, rather than share them with staff. Greed by central government, that has kept business rates too high to allow businesses to establish themselves on high streets. Greed by shop landlords,…

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Labour’s ‘institutional’ problem isn’t racism – it’s right-wing, authoritarian MPs

This is deliberate needling by Chuka Umunna. He’s trying to provoke an aggressive reaction from among the membership of the Labour Party – as he was with his dehumanising tactic of calling us all “dogs”. Well, every dog has its day, and ours is coming. Here’s Mr Umunna’s latest outrageous claim: Labour's @ChukaUmunna tells @RidgeOnSunday that the party is "institutionally racist" #Ridge pic.twitter.com/tinua9xhFI — Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) September 9, 2018 Notice that Sophy Ridge asked a leading question, allowing Mr Umunna to wax lyrical on this theme. He…

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Massive increase in public debt under Tories shows Austerity was about hurting the poor, not balancing the books

The evidence is mounting up, and it says: Austerity was about making the rich richer and the poor poorer – and never about settling the UK’s debt. Why else would successive Conservative governments have inflicted devastating cuts on government programmes that help the poor, while cutting taxes that affect primarily the rich at the same time? The Conservatives have been labelled con artists after running up mountains of debt in spite of austerity cuts at the same time as the rich significantly increase their wealth. Since the recession Britain’s wealthiest…

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The link between neoliberal capitalism and the rise of fascism that Theresa May never mentioned

Beastrabban has been expanding on This Writer’s article about Theresa May and the disaster that is neoliberal capitalism, over on his Weblog. He makes another link – with the return of Fascism across Europe, of which support for the far-right AfD in the recent German elections is a part. Here is an extract. You can read the full article using the link below. The Korean economist, Ha-Joon Chang, makes pretty much the same case in his book, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. Chang is also an admirer…

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