Tag Archives: economics

Watch Paul Mason put down the banks

Dear Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews, if any of you want to Tweet him your support),

Thanks for this:

(And thanks to Pride’s Purge for bringing it to our attention.)

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Are these gibbering buffoons really the Conservative Party’s hope for the future?

The caption on this picture reads: "Nick Robinson, former Young Conservatives chairman and current BBC political editor, taking a selfie with some young Tories (Photo courtesy of theblueguerilla.co.uk). Perhaps you'd like to dream up your own caption for this image of wild-eyed, slack-jawed decadence (he's the political editor at the BBC and people still think it's left-wing; the mind boggles).

The caption on this picture reads: “Nick Robinson, former Young Conservatives chairman and current BBC political editor, taking a selfie with some young Tories (Photo courtesy of theblueguerilla.co.uk).” Perhaps you’d like to dream up your own caption for this image of wild-eyed, slack-jawed decadence (he’s the political editor at the BBC and people still think it’s left-wing; the mind boggles).

How bizarre. Apparently the right-wing social media want us to believe that, even though Conservative Party membership is believed to have dropped below 100,000, the number of young people joining up or supporting that party is reaching its highest in a decade.

Never mind. If, like Alice, you try to believe six impossible things before breakfast, you still have five more slots available to you.

The new information comes from a website called Vice.com, in an article entitled ‘Rise of the Tory Youth: Meeting Britain’s Young Conservatives’.

And meet them we do, along with some of the most spectacularly ignorant and ill-informed opinions this writer has encountered in a month of Sundays.

Try this, from 24-year-old Louisa Townson, current Tory Society President at University College, London. She tells us she became a member because of Tory economics: “We’d had this huge crash and we knew we had to sort out the national debt and the deficit.” Doesn’t she know that the last four years of Tory economics have cost the UK more than Labour spent in its entire 13 years of office and reduced the deficit by a staggeringly meagre £10 billion?

Louisa thinks the tripling of tuition fees was “fair” – presumably she won’t be saddled with student debt until she’s in her fifties, then.

As for workfare, she thinks “it would be good if [the unemployed] can give something back”. So this young woman, who joined the Conservatives for their economic policies, thinks it’s a good idea to remove paying jobs from the economy by making unemployed people do them – at the taxpayers’ expense – while the rate of corporation tax has nosedived so the host companies take all the profits? How will that help reduce the national debt?

And this is supposed to be an example of the brightest Young Conservative thinking. Oh my word. Oh dear.

Oliver Cooper, president of Tory youth movement Conservative Future, is still under the impression that his party stands for “economic freedom” – the party that, in government, has pushed millions onto the dole to keep wages down; destroyed much of Britain’s remaining industrial base, decimating the economies of entire regions of the UK, to undermine working-class self-confidence and security; de-democratised nationalised industries through privatisation; created a mushrooming of homelessness by promoting house ownership, creating a chronic shortage of social housing and perpetuating it by denying councils the ability to build more; and increased inequalities of income and wealth by cutting the relative value of benefits along with wages, boosting the social exclusion of the poorest in society.

This is supposed to show that it is cool to be a Tory again? Oh good heavens no. It demonstrates the “cancerous… classist and out-of-touch view of the modern middle class youth of today”, as Theodor Ensbury states in the comment column.

“Mix privilege with a lack of life experience … and you have a heady cocktail of political and social empowerment without understanding of consequences,” he adds.

There is much more of this, but there really isn’t any need to go into further detail. Read it yourself, if you can stomach it.

Today’s Tory youth, ladies and gentlemen: Ignorant, insular and insolent.

The last thing they deserve is responsibility.

I wouldn’t give them the time of day.

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Modern politics: Give the other fellow hell – and the country nothing at all

131214perception

Politics is perception.

It isn’t about government any more. It seems none of the main parties are interested in gaining Parliamentary dominance in order to improve British citizens’ chances of leading successful lives, serving their needs by creating the best conditions in which they can prosper.

Quite the opposite – it seems clear that the intention is to crush those very citizens beneath the heel of the State (most hypocritically in the case of the Conservatives), forcing the people to serve the interests of the elected members.

What a sad State to be in. Politics is no longer even “the art of the possible”, as Otto von Bismarck once put it – unless we are discussing possible ways to fleece the electorate.

Now, the aim of the game is to shape the way the masses perceive current events. Control of the media is vital, and a series of strong statements – supported by those media but not necessarily by the facts – is considered all that is necessary to win.

It isn’t, as we shall see. But this is why we hear Tories screaming on and on, week after week, that they are clearing up a mess (no they’re not) that was Labour’s fault (no it wasn’t); that the benefit bill is too high (no it isn’t – really, it isn’t!), and the only solution is to cut support for people who desperately need it and put them into deep poverty and destitution (no it isn’t). These are positions taken by the current Coalition government and none of them are supported by the facts.

Then there is the running-down of opposing politicians. Labour’s Jack Dromey was on the receiving end of Conservative ire yesterday, after he tweeted a message about a lad from a Royal Mail sorting office being its “Pikey”. He meant that Gareth Martin’s nickname in his place of work was “Pikey”, after the character of Private Pike, the youngest member of the platoon in Dad’s Army – but Tories including David Morris went as far as writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, demanding an investigation into the use of a derogatory term for members of the Roma and Irish travelling communities and questioning whether it was an incitement to racial hatred, of all things.

Of course it wasn’t. It was an attempt to get a fairly simple idea into Twitter’s 140-character limit that failed because of a word that had a double meaning.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Sarah Champion accused Conservative MPs of making sexist gestures at female members of the Opposition, while they are speaking in the House of Commons. If this is correct (and it’s hard to tell, because televised debates concentrate mainly on whoever is speaking), then the intention cannot be as open to interpretation as Mr Dromey and his “Pikey”. Interestingly, I had to use an MSN news report as reference because the BBC News item seems to have disappeared – which tends to support my point.

Constituencies up and down the country have been going through the motions of choosing the candidates who will fight the 2015 election – and what a well-managed process it is! I wonder how many of these candidates were the preferred choice of their Party heirarchy, who then contrived to convince their members that the choice was democratic? But we were all shocked at the suggestion of corruption in Falkirk, weren’t we?

How many new candidates will be besuited youngsters, with scant work experience other than as gophers for sitting Parliamentarians, councillors or devolved Parliamentarians/Assembly members, brandishing their degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics as though they were magic talismans that would guarantee their entry to the highest offices in the land?

How many of these candidates will be brave enough to have a voice of their own, and how many will simply spout homogeneous party lines, carefully-worded so that they can apply to any constituency?

And if they win their seat, how many of them will stand up for the rights and livelihoods of their constituents, rather than obediently voting through every corrupt bid to drain us of power and money?

Not many, I’ll warrant.

Look at your own representatives – and the candidates who hope to replace them. What do you see?

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Are we looking at a return to feudalism?

David Cameron as the villain in Skyfall. Clearly my photo-manipulation skills are poor, but it gets the point across: Is this how the Prime Monster sees himself?

A photofit picture of the real villain in Skyfall. Clearly my photo-manipulation skills are poor, but it gets the point across: Is this how the UK’s Prime Monster sees himself?

Sitting in the cafe yesterday, one of my companions turned to me and said, “You’ve seen Skyfall, haven’t you?”

“The latest Bond movie?”

“That’s the one. You know the sequence where Javier Bardem’s living like a feudal lord on an island that’s been cleared of everyone else, apart from him and his servants?”

“What about it?”

“Did you ever think, that could be a metaphor for what our government wants to do to this country?”

Whoa.

That couldn’t be right, could it?

It sounds crazy. But…

Just crazy enough to have a hint of possibility about it.

Consider this: The UK is currently being run by a gang of Eton posh boys who come from a social class that was known in Ireland as the Ascendancy. In fact, Gideon is a fully-fledged member of that exact group.

The Ascendancy was a minority of landowners, protestant clergy, and members of the professions – all of which are well-represented in the current UK Parliament – who dominated Ireland in political, economic and social terms between the 17th and 20th centuries.

It seems that clashes with the English meant that a large amount of Irish land had been confiscated by the Crown, then sold to people who were thought to be loyal, so English soldiers and traders became the new ruling class, whose richer members were elevated to the House of Lords and eventually controlled the Irish House of Commons.

Now look at what’s happening over here. Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit cuts mean people are going to be forced out of their homes, particularly in the more expensive parts of our cities – and apparently there is a plan now to force the rest of us into using our homes as security to ensure we continue paying our taxes, in a move to extend homelessness into the middle classes.

Those homes wouldn’t go empty for long – they’d be bought up by anyone rich enough to afford it, in an estate-building programme.

Poor people, deprived of their benefits, homes, and ability to support themselves, might be left to survive as best they can in ghettoes filled with squalor and disease, until they are ready to do anything for an improvement in their living conditions. Then they’ll be hired to work on the new estates, servicing their new masters’ needs.

In other words, the UK would split into several ‘islands’, similar to the one occupied by Javier Bardem’s character in Skyfall. There would be a single ‘Lord of the Manor’ with all the power, his family, and their servants – and that’s all. Technological advancements would mean they would not need to support many of those servants – just enough to work the land and maintain the technology that would ensure their continued ‘Ascendancy’.

To my way of thinking, this would weaken the country to the point where it would be ripe for invasion by any foreign nutter with a gun – but then, this government is renewing Trident, isn’t it? And they’re definitely crazy enough to turn anywhere else into a glowing crater, just to keep themselves comfortable.

I know.

It’s crazy. A paranoia-fuelled pipe dream.

But it ticks a lot of boxes.

What do you think is really going on?

I can take a joke

My good friend Dae Thomas uploaded this picture – about me – onto Facebook:

I’m the intellectual-type stick figure in the top left frame, apparently.
But hey, at least I write about relevant things like politics and economics and government and whatnot in a fun and amusing-type way!

I also go shopping.

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