Tag Archives: dictator

Will the UK send more riot gear to a despotic Trump? Of course. It makes a profit

Sacrilege: Donald Trump had people tear-gassed so he could have this picture taken, outside a church, with a Bible. It seems he hasn’t read the New Testament… and if he stepped inside the church, would he disappear in a puff of brimstone?

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is being urged to ban the sale of riot control equipment to the United States in response to shocking images of police attacking peaceful protesters against the killing of George Floyd.

Trump seems to be entirely out of control. He had peaceful protesters tear-gassed so he could take part in a photo shoot in front of a church, clutching a Bible, in what many people (including myself) may describe as a blasphemy.

This is symptomatic of the attitude he has displayed since public opinion boiled over in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Many – including media pundits – believe he has turned the corner into dictatorship:

His attitude to the classes seems to support this:

For clarity, let’s have a look at some video clips of what has been going on:

https://twitter.com/LowkeySinistra/status/1267109420955086848

We need these clips by members of the public, too. If we didn’t have them, Ice T would be right:

Look at how news reporters have been targeted:

There have been exceptions, though – and it is important to note them. Not all in the police or the military agree with Trump that peaceful demonstrations should be put down with an iron fist:

It seems US police have been learning “brutality and repression” in specially-funded trips abroad. I make no comment about the country providing the training.

The good news is that, after Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Mr Floyd, the three other officers involved are also to face criminal charges. It has been said that Tou Thao watched while J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane helped hold the victim down:

And a civil rights investigation has been launched into the activities of Minneapolis police.

Back with the president, it seems the affair has killed Trump’s approval rating among US citizens. Now 54 per cent of them disapprove of him – the highest disapproval rating for any US president.

Trump should be happy – he’s always trying to say he’s top at something, and now he is.

All of this takes us back to the UK’s response to all this. Boris Johnson has been urged to stop exporting arms and riot equipment to the United States, so it cannot be used to harm peaceful protesters in the way we’ve seen in the videos (above):

According to the Independent article, neither Johnson nor any government spokesperson has yet commented on the issue.

This Writer’s opinion? There won’t be any cessation of arms trading with the US – it makes Tory-donor UK firms a fortune every day.

And Trump supporters can’t help shooting themselves in the foot (if only metaphorically). After Piers Morgan tweeted critically about the depths to which Trump has dragged his country, a US Twitter user made it clear that they did not want people from the UK to be involved in that country’s business. The response from a Brit was well-deserved and entirely appropriate:

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Coronavirus: Hungarian leader uses pandemic as excuse to become DICTATOR

Dictator: will Boris Johnson follow Victor Orban’s example and try to use the coronavirus to seize dictatorial power? He’s already got the hand gestures well-practised.

This is shocking:

If Boris Johnson is watching from his sickbed, how long do you think it will take him to try the same thing in the UK?

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Dictator Johnson’s latest anti-democratic scheme – call an election and shift the date

What the country should do: But should MPs take an offer of a general election at face value when Dictator Johnson could use anti-democratic powers to shift the date?

It’s one dastardly scheme after another in Dictator Johnson’s regime.

The latest, according to certain sources, is that he’ll mitigate the effects of any legislation to stop his “no deal” Brexit by calling a snap general election – some time within the next three days (so before the end of September 5).

It seems a motion to stop “no deal” Brexit will be seen as a motion of “no confidence” in BoJob’s bodge-up of a government.

Laura Kuenssberg suggested it on the BBC’s Politics Live:

And here’s ITV’s Paul Brand:

The “prerogative proclamation power” refers to the Royal prerogative, which the prime minister exercises in the name of the Crown.

It is – once again – anti-democratic in the extreme. Despotic, dictatorial – it would be kicking the British people in the teeth.

And as far as I can tell, it seems open to dispute by MPs as the exercise of such a power has never been fully defined.

In any case, Mr Johnson would have to gain the support of two-thirds of MPs in the Commons before he had approval to call a general election, as set out in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

While Labour has said it would support a general election if Mr Johnson asked for one, it would not be in the nation’s interest to do so under the circumstances on offer above.

It would be better to demand a resolution to the Brexit emergency now, and leave a general election for later.

Of course, that applies only to this situation. Who knows what BoJob will be saying tomorrow?

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Britons take to the streets across the country to #StopTheCoup

Citizens of the United Kingdom have hit the streets in cities, towns and villages across the country to express their outrage at the actions of Boris Johnson – and the Queen.

There was even a demonstration in This Writer’s Mid Wales home town against the decision to shut down Parliament so that our unelected prime minister – who has not proved he can command a majority in Parliament – can enact a flagship policy that has been rejected by our democratically-elected legislature many times.

Here’s a smattering of videos and images from across the country, courtesy of Twitter. They speak for themselves:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1167834940073005056

Finally, if you don’t like a certain swear word beginning with ‘F’, don’t play the following video…

… But if you don’t mind it, this is brilliant:

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Johnson’s coup: Now we must fight to prevent the end of the UK as a democracy

Two-fingered salute: His decision to shut down Parliament shows that this rude signal is all Boris Johnson has for democracy.

Boris Johnson’s demand that the Queen prorogue Parliament in order to ensure that his “no deal” Brexit cannot be stopped – and her meek submission to it – has shown that the UK’s democracy is at risk of collapsing: We are threatened with dictatorship.

Some of us have been watching it coming for years.

The first move was the economic crisis of 2008 onwards, leading to the collusion of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in order to form a Coalition government that imposed austerity on the majority of people in the United Kingdom.

The reduction of money for public services led to splits in society, with groups lining up to demonise other groups – supported by highly-inflammatory rhetoric from the government.

Most notable in this was the demonisation of the sick and disabled – with the conscious collusion of the mainstream TV and print news media (consider the effect of so-called documentaries like Benefits Street, for example).

This in turn made it possible for David Cameron to call a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, partly because people in his party were claiming that EU regulations were the country to accept excessive numbers of immigrants from other EU countries.

The result of that referendum was three years of deadlock as Parliament struggled to agree an agreement on the manner of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union that everyone could accept. This could have been avoided if Mr Cameron had taken the time to define the terms on which the UK might leave, before the referendum was held. He did not.

It also gave a huge platform to demagogues – politicians appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than using rational argument – most notably Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.

Mr Cameron, who became prime minister in 2010 despite the fact that his party did not have a majority in Parliament at the time, resigned after it became clear that the referendum result was to leave the EU. This was in contradiction of his own promise to stay and enact Brexit, in the run-up to the vote. He was replaced by another unelected prime minister, Theresa May – who resigned earlier this year, having failed to take the UK out of the EU.

Now we have a third unelected Conservative prime minister, Boris Johnson, who is determined to take the UK out of the EU on October 31, preferably without a withdrawal agreement. He knows that Parliament will prevent this if it can. A known liar, he has lied again in order to wrong-foot his political opponents and steal power from Parliament to ensure that he gets the Brexit he wants.

As the BBC’s Iain Watson tells us:

He’s proroguing Parliament to prevent it from debating Brexit.

And the Queen has allowed it:

Now Dictator Johnson is saying there will be “ample time” for Parliament to debate Brexit.

This can only be seen as another lie.

But the real issue now is this:

History is repeating itself. We have seen these developments elsewhere.

Do you know where?

It happened in Germany after Hitler and his Nazis took over the government of that country.

Hitler did not have a majority in the German parliament when he took power in 1933 – he relied on the collusion of others, as David Cameron relied on the support of the Liberal Democrats.

Hitler used Germany’s economic weakness during the time of the Weimar republic to demonise groups within German society – most notably Jews, but also the sick and disabled who he described as “useless eaters”. The Coalition government – and every Conservative government since – have persecuted people claiming benefits because they are sick or disabled and, while not gassing them to death as Hitler’s Aktion T4 programme did, they have “nudged” these people towards death by denying them the wherewithal to survive by sanctioning their benefits, or removing them altogether.

The first political opponents that Hitler removed from Germany altogether were Communists, and it is unlilkely to be a coincidence that Tories have constantly referred to Jeremy Corbyn as a Marxist, and his Labour Party as Communists (in fact, Labour is a democratic socialist party, which is not the same at all).

There has been a huge amount of mass media collusion with the Coalition and subsequent Conservative governments. Hitler controlled the German mass media with an iron hand.

Hitler rallied the German people around powerful feelings of nationalism and Brexit has allowed modern demagogues like Boris Johnson to kindle such feelings in the UK.

Hitler had no regard for human rights. In their plans for the UK post-Brexit, the Conservatives intended to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a “Bill of Rights” in which no UK citizen would have any rights beyond what would be decreed for them by our Tory masters.

The list goes on and on (the above are just off the top of This Writer’s head).

And now Parliament is being prevented from sitting for most of September and half of October, leaving it without enough time to stop Dictator Johnson from achieving his “no deal” Brexit – in defiance of democracy.

I know – you thought you were living in a democracy.

So did the Germans!

Many years ago, in the early days of This Site, I used to paraphrase the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, who wrote of the Nazis:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

I used it to highlight the plight of the sick and disabled, changing the first line to “First they came for the sick and disabled, and I did not speak out because I was not sick or disabled”.

Now we know what my last line should be:

Finally, they came for democracy – and now it doesn’t matter whether I speak out or not because nobody will listen.

That is the situation we face, it seems.

You can watch it getting worse and do nothing, and then tell me I was right when it is too late to reverse this disaster.

Or you can actually get up and stop it.

What are you going to do?

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Dictator Johnson demands: ‘Shut down Parliament so I get my ‘no deal’ Brexit!’

Boris Johnson: He is acting like a dictator.

We expected this, didn’t we?

Boris Johnson has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament from September 10.

The only possible reason for this is to prevent MPs from stopping the imbecilic ‘no deal’ Brexit he seems determined to force on us all.

It is an insult to Parliamentary sovereignty – the very sovereignty that Brexit was intended to restore – and a step towards Mr Johnson becoming a dictator, rather than a democratic leader. Remember, only 0.14 per cent of the electorate made him prime minister.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the plan to suspend Parliament is “an outrage and a threat to our democracy”.

“I am appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless no-deal Brexit. This is an outrage and a threat to our democracy.

“If Johnson has confidence in his plans he should put them to the people in a general election or public vote.”

Commons Speaker John Bercow has called the demand a “constitutional outrage”.

He said: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament] now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.”

BoJob has responded by saying the claim is “completely untrue”. But it will have that effect, won’t it?

He came out with a load of blather that didn’t make sense – firstly that he did not want to wait until after Brexit “before getting on with our plans to take this country forward”. But with Parliament set to return only on October 14, it seems his own plan is to do exactly that.

The reason I suggest this is that BoJob also insisted there would still be “ample time” for MPs to debate the UK’s departure from the European Union before it was too late to do anything about it.

I make it 15 debating days at the most – but by October, it is most likely that time will have run out for anyone opposing Dictator Johnson’s reckless plan to do anything about it.

And the week Parliament returns from recess is likely to be occupied with a debate on the 12-month spending round to be announced by Chancellor Sajid Javid on September 4.

This is uncommonly early – certainly earlier than expected – and suggests that BoJob is trying to fill Parliamentary time in order to prevent discussion of Brexit.

BoJob said he wanted to bring forward his “very exciting agenda” – worrying words in themselves as they suggest that he wants to jolly us along with upbeat adjectives, while the meaning behind his words may be very different indeed.

And what of opposition parties’ intention to block ‘no deal’ Brexit with legislation?

That was the upshot of the so-called Church House Agreement (why do people have to come up with such pretentious names for these deals, especially at times when we don’t know if they’ll achieve anything?).

That choice seems to have been made after party leaders failed to agree on support for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in BoJob’s already-nightmarish government.

It is possible that he has announced his current plan in response to their deal, knowing that they won’t be able to stop him having his way.

So it seems, in the end, a vote of ‘no confidence’ may be the only way to stop him.

That would put the focus back on Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats, who have refused to support the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister for even a limited period.

Is she so desperate to keep him out that she’ll betray everyone who voted ‘Liberal Democrat’ in the belief that they would stop Brexit?

Source: Government asks Queen to suspend Parliament – BBC News

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Sturgeon on the Daily Show: Jon Stewart compares her to Saddam Hussein

At risk of being accused of hypocrisy, This Writer has only one thing to say:

Why do the mass media keep offering the oxygen of publicity to these despotic dictators?

Source: ‘You think you’re Saddam Hussein?’ Jon Stewart tackles Nicola Sturgeon on SNP success | Politics | The Guardian

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UKIP growing weaker in Wales amid ‘dictatorship’ claims

Farage: The not-so-great dictator?

Farage: The not-so-great dictator?

Oh dear, how sad; never mind.

Over on Google+, an avid UKIP supporter just challenged This Writer with the words, “UKIP in Wales is growing stronger isnt it Mike.” Yr Obdt Srvt dutifully scoured the local newspapers for corroboration but found this instead (in the Brecon and Radnor Express):

“Ousted members of Brecon and Radnorshire’s UKIP branch claimed the party has blown its chances of a general election victory in the constituency.

“The local UKIP committee was suspended earlier this month in a row over the selection of its candidate for this May’s general election.”

The article said UKIP’s Welsh Executive had selected Darran Thomas of Rhayader as its B&R candidate, “having taken the decision out of the hands of local party members”.

It said former UKIP Wales chairman John Pratt claimed the party is run as a “dictatorship” by Nigel Farage.

And it said suspended branch chairman Clive Easton, the original choice as candidate for the upcoming general election, said: “Defeat has been snatched from the jaws of victory. I’m devastated to have all my hard work since 1996 snatched away.”

Barring his political persuasion, Mr Easton seems a decent enough human being. He is the UKIP representative who apologised in the newspapers after This Writer received a poison pen letter from a UKIP supporter in Newtown, Powys – a confused gentleman who, despite being in Wales, signed himself “John Bull”.

If he says UKIP is snatching defeat from victory, then there is good reason to believe him.

Meanwhile, the BBC is suggesting that UKIP has “peaked too soon” in its general election campaign.

That’s a little too close to the Spitting Image portrayal of David Steel and David Owen as the Liberal/SDP alliance. Eagerly awaiting a “surge” in voters, their excitement builds unto the Steel puppet ejaculates: “I’ve surged too soon!”

In UKIP’s case, this seems to be happening now.

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Who will (unofficially) sponsor David Cameron’s next Prime Ministerial statements?

130819lobbying

Tobacco, fracking or private health companies seem the most likely choices.

The Conservative-led Coalition has become an excellent practitioner of bait-and-switch fraud, it seems. First it ‘baits’ the general public by promising a new law, reforming part of society that is seen to have fallen below the standards expected here in the UK. Then it ‘switches’ the legislation into something else entirely.

So it is with plans for a new law to end lobbying scandals. It won’t do anything of the sort. In fact, it is likely to lessen the legal burdens on lobbyists.

However, it will impose onerous new burdens on trade unions and charities, in what the Trade Union Congress has described as “an outrageous attack on freedom of speech worthy of an authoritarian dictatorship”.

(This is not to say that the TUC believes the UK government is similar to an authoritarian dictatorship. View it instead as the TUC saying this is what the UK government has become under the Coalition)

The Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill apparently features a new, looser definition of ‘campaigning’ that risks including all activities that could be seen as critical of the government of the day – and if any government was likely to crack down on such activities, on any day, it’s this one!

Mr Cameron’s spokesman said this was not the aim, and that the plan was to ensure lobbyists’ allegiances are known, ascertain how much money is spent on third-party political campaigning and ensure trade unions know who their members are. His words may have been sponsored by CTF Partners (look them up).

The proposals are likely to introduce a statutory register of consultant lobbyists, but only firms which say it is their main business need register, only firms which meet ministers and senior civil servants need declare whom they represent, and in-house lobbyists are also exempt – so, from 988 meetings between the Department for Business and lobbyists in 2012, only two were with consultant lobbyists who would have had to declare the meetings under the new law.

An Independent article stated that the plans lack credibility and are regarded as “a bad joke” inside the UK’s £2 billion lobbying industry – so much so that the chairman of Parliament’s Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee recalled its members before the end of the summer recess, to hold evidence sessions on what he has described as a “dog’s breakfast”.

Graham Allen MP (Labour) told the paper, “This flawed legislation will mean we’ll all be back in a year facing another scandal.”

And lobbyists themselves said the industry could gain nothing from flawed legislation. Iain Anderson, chairman of the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) and director of the lobbying company Cicero, said: “This law will only undermine public confidence.”

The planned legislation would also set a cap on the amount any organisation other than political parties could spend during elections, and would end self-certification of union membership numbers for all but the smallest unions, with records checked by an independent officer.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said in the BBC article that “this rushed Bill has nothing to do with cleaning up lobbying or getting big money out of politics. Instead it is a crude and politically partisan attack on trade unions, particularly those who affiliate to the Labour Party”. Bait-and-switch, see?

But she said the plan was much worse than that: “Its chilling effect will be to shut down dissent for the year before an election. No organisation that criticises a government policy will be able to overdraw their limited ration of dissent without fearing a visit from the police.”

Mr Cameron, now revealed as a corporate mouthpiece after his U-turn on plans for plain packaging on cigarettes (his election strategist Lynton Crosby also works for a major tobacco corporation), his support for fracking (several leading Tories stand to benefit if the process becomes widespread) and his government’s privatisation of the National Health Service, amazingly promised to crack down on lobbying in the Coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats after he, himself, described it as the “next big political scandal”.

If fears are borne out, the new law would have a direct effect on Vox Political and blogs like it. Rest assured that VP will continue criticising government policy and demanding better from the opposition.

They can’t say we overspend – we don’t have any budget at all.

My e-petition calling for MPs to be banned from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest is here, and is nearly at the point where a reply will be required from the relevant government department. Please support it with your signature, if you haven’t already done so.

RIP Hugo Chavez – when can the UK have a Prime Minister like you?

Which would you rather have - Chavez or Cameron?

Which would you rather have – Chavez or Cameron?

Isn’t it amazing, the amount of joy the right-wing press and its adherents can project over the death of a man who improved conditions in his country beyond all expectations?

That is what we are seeing after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

But we should not be surprised – after all, these are the same newspapers (and their bosses) who support the nation-wrecking policies of David Cameron and the Coalition – an unelected dictator and a cadre of manipulators whose only linked interest is their own enrichment at the expense of anybody else.

Chavez was not perfect. There are some aspects of his personality that would give any reasonable person cause for second thoughts. His support for foreign dictators is one. Any man who can draw tributes from Ahmadinijad and Assad is questionable. The rise of violent crime in his country is another – and extremely worrying. Violent crime is linked with poverty, and yet…

And yet any criticism of his presidency on economic grounds is absurd. His nation’s wealth tripled during the first 12 years he was in office. Tripled!

As for his association with unelected dictators – this seems beyond strange as he was not one himself. In fact, his share of the popular vote at his last election was enough to turn every British Prime Minister since Winston Churchill pale with envy.

That last election was won under one of the fairest and most robust voting systems in the world – that was implemented by his own party. Former US President Jimmy Carter thinks its system is superior to that of the US. Turnout was more than 80 per cent, with 55.1 per cent of voters casting for Chavez. It’s notable that the 44.3 per cent of votes cast for rival Henrique Capriles would shame every single UK Prime Minister since Harold Wilson in 1966.

In other words, Venezuela’s former president was elected by one of the most democratically-sound systems in the world, and gained more support from his people than any British PM since Churchill.

Not a despot, then.

He has cut extreme poverty by two-thirds, and general poverty by almost half.

He has cut infant mortality and improved equality; and he has cut unemployment by almost half, to 8.2 per cent (strikingly close to the UK level).

He has improved his nations infrastructure and public services.

And he has proved that left-wing policies can improve prosperity and increase economic growth.

That’s why the right-wing press hate him. He shows there is a better alternative to the nightmare we are living through.

So let’s look at David Cameron, shall we?

Only 23.47 per cent of eligible voters supported David Cameron in the UK general election of 2010 (compared with 44.32 per cent for Chavez in January this year).

That election was marred by the fact that many voters were prevented from casting their vote at polling stations that closed at exactly 10pm. This was incorrect – all voters who had arrived and were queueing by 10pm should have been admitted to the building and allowed to cast their vote. So the UK election of 2010 was carried out in an improper way.

The result was a hung Parliament, with no single political party gaining power. The Con/Dem Coalition was formed in a backroom deal between Cameron and Nick Clegg, and had nothing to do with the will of the electorate. Therefore Cameron can be said to be unelected. Less than a quarter of the eligible voters wanted him and he did not win enough Parliamentary seats to justify taking office.

Then we come to dictatorship. How many unwanted policies have we had since this rabble slithered into government, determined to restrict our freedoms just as much as possible?

Policies like, for example, the cuts to Legal Aid?

Secret courts?

The Internet snooping Bill?

The plan to gerrymander the number of Parliamentary seats and the boundaries of constituencies, in order to deliver an unfair advantage to the Conservative Party in the next election (which, thankfully, failed)?

How many policies have been imposed on us with the intention of impoverishing the poorest in society?

The Welfare Reform Act?

The Localism Act, with its reintroduction of the hated Poll Tax (that’s the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, for those of you in England who have to deal with it)?

The Bedroom Tax?

AUSTERITY?

And then there’s the Health and Social Care Act, an attempt to ‘fix’ the National Health Service when it wasn’t broken, in order to let private operators get their hands on the huge cash opportunities it offers. Has anyone noticed that the nation’s health has worsened, according to many indicators, since the ConDems took over?

And there has been no mention yet of all the policies to put money in the pockets of the very rich, donors to the Conservative Party, bankers, people who park their money in offshore tax havens (thereby keeping it away from the taxman) and the many other corrupt ways this government’s members have been filling their own pockets with cash (and those of their friends and donors) when they should have been looking after the national interest.

Yet the right-wing press supports Mr Cameron and his cronies, despite the fact that they have been a worse disaster for the UK than the financial crisis that preceded their arrival.

Can we ever hope to have a champion like Chavez in this country?

Or is the British system now so badly corroded that it can only ever attract the worst that society has to offer?