Tag Archives: politics

These are the people who voted Liz Truss into 10 Downing Street. Watch in horror

This is a real eye-opener.

Politics Joe went to the Tory leadership hustings at the SSE Arena (ironic, that) in London and asked Conservative Party members their opinions on recent events and what needs to be done in the future.

There are some real horrors here – people with whom many would be ashamed to share a homeland.

That being said, there’s support for nationalisation of public utilities – even among Tories, and for an end to reliance on fossil fuels. Watch:

So why is Liz Truss full-on in favour of more privatisation and a return to fossil fuels and pollution?

It seems those who thought she was in thrall to far-right think tanks, the far-right European Research Group, and far-right business leaders may have a point.

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Ian Hislop trashes Liz Truss. But didn’t he boost Boris Johnson?

Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You.

Here’s one to take with a pinch of salt.

The video clip below is promoted as “Ian Hislop dismantles Liz Truss, piece by piece” – and, sure, there’s an element of that in it.

There’s also a lot at the beginning about his new BBC Sounds documentary, Suburbia, that you can skip altogether, if you like. Start around the 13-minute point. And a bit at the end discussing the play he’s co-written about Spike Milligan. That’s fairly amusing so you might need it as a pick-me-up after the heavy politics.

But let’s get to the clip:

Hislop points out that the election Liz Truss has just won is nothing like any poll she’ll have to win in the future, because the voters were all Conservative Party members who are mainly past retirement age. As he points out, they’re not affected because the pensions triple-lock builds inflation into their income. The electorate as a whole is very bothered by the cost-of-living crisis, and this will come back to bite Truss if she does not act on it.

He reckons Truss will have a problem borrowing money to pay for any cost-of-living measures, being that nobody will lend her any money. Is this accurate? I don’t know but I think we’ll find out soon, because all the talk is that she’ll borrow £100 million for her big energy prices loan scheme, to be announced today (Thursday, September 8).

There’s a problem with cutting taxes, he says – and we know that, too; if Truss cuts taxes, then she’ll have no room to spend on the projects she has laid out in her Tory leadership election campaign. It’s not that the taxes will pay for these things, though – a UK government creates the money it needs to spend on public services; taxation merely works to prevent this extra money in the system from causing (or increasing) inflation. At the moment, with inflation skyrocketing because of Tory idiocies in the past – not just under Johnson but May and Cameron as well – tax cuts would worsen the problem. That’s probably the reason Hislop says she’ll have to raise taxes instead.

Truss’s arguments against acting on the cost-of-living crisis won’t work, says Hislop – partly because we all remember the furlough scheme that ran during the Covid-19 crisis (which is still ongoing, by the way), and partly because Truss has modelled herself on Margaret Thatcher – who did employ windfall taxation when she felt justified in doing so.

Nor will anti-nationalisation rhetoric work because most of the population – including Conservative voters – support it.

Then Hislop lays into “the current, caretaker prime minister” – meaning Boris Johnson. Hislop has spent a lot of effort, recently, attacking Johnson – but it is important to remember that Johnson’s rise to power was hugely eased by (for example) his appearances alongside Hislop on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You; if Hislop (and the show’s producers) had been a little less eager to help Johnson on his way, the UK could have avoided the darkest years in its recent history.

So This Writer finds it hard to swallow Hislop’s criticism of Johnson’s claim that he had to remain as prime minister throughout the summer – during which he took several holidays rather than acting to alleviate the huge national crises that he had created.

He is right where he says Johnson’s legacy should be “nothing – literally nothing. It should be, ‘Don’t allow amoral narcissists to become prime minister’.” But it is advice in hindsight; it would have been better for all if Hislop had thought of it a decade or so ago.

Going back to the Tory Party members who elected Liz Truss, Hislop points out that they are more right-wing than their MPs, meaning their new prime minister will pander to them. He rightly emphasizes that the hugely right-wing Johnson had to go because more members of his government quit, rather than work with him, than has ever happened before and it would be a lie to claim that the way forward is to be even more right-wing.

The political left had nothing to do with it, of course – possibly because there isn’t a political left-wing in Parliament any more; Keir Starmer has seen to that.

But trade unions seem to be filling the void – and surging in popularity as a result. The reaction of the Conservative government (as exemplified by Grant Shapps’s mistreatment of rail workers) shows that they haven’t had to deal with industrial unrest properly in a generation and don’t know how any more.

Again rightly, Hislop says if a trade union goes on strike, demanding a pay rise, the proper response of a government isn’t to throw up its collective hands and say they should ban trade unions. The proper response is to negotiate – suggest a compromise position in which all sides of the dispute can come out with honour.

It’s another area where Truss is going to fall on her face – stupidly, because, as Hislop says, “What do you think people are going to do? Sit at home thinking, oh yeah, I’d better have a 12 per cent pay cut – that looks good!”

But Keir Starmer is also set to fall hard because the unions have outflanked him to become the advocates of progressive politics in the UK. Labour, under Starmer, has become reactionary. He’s sitting on the fence, failing to put forward an alternative to the current government, and people are noticing.

Conversation moves on to what’s described as the “Covid companies” – those that rose during the Covid-19 crisis, to skim money from the public purse. Hislop thinks they are disgraceful (again failing to admit that they only happened because Boris Johnson was able to help them to happen).

He does make a good suggestion, though: why not a windfall tax on these firms? “If pre-Covid your profit was 3p and afterwards it’s £500 million, I think we could have a bit of that!”

The situation highlights the fact that civil servants capable of carrying out the procurement function properly seem to have disappeared, to be replaced by politically-motivated appointees. As Hislop says, we need people who can do these boring jobs properly because they are the only ones that matter.

The trouble is, David Cameron got rid of them all when he froze public sector pay, more than 10 years ago.

A classic example of money going to the wrong place is the chief executive of a rail firm getting a huge bonus while Shapps was urging pay restraint for rail workers – and as a result of the Covid crisis when nobody was taking the train anyway.

So: a huge number of problems with the UK’s current political machinery are identified. They are problems that could have been fixed, had Boris Johnson not been put in a position where he was able to fool millions of voters into electing him (with lies that he would make us all better-off via Brexit and that Jeremy Corbyn was a danger to the nation). And Hislop helped put Johnson in that position.

This Writer’s conclusion: we should be grateful that Hislop has brought his analytical skills to bear – while remembering that he is at least partly responsible for the problems he identified.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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NHS delays, strikes and sewage – also in the news on August 24

‘Your call is in a queue…’: is this guy waiting for the NHS to answer him, now he’s on his way out of his big job?

Politics doesn’t seem to be taking a summer holiday this year, so This Site is falling behind what’s happening – and that would never do!

So here’s a quick round-up of some of the stuff that has also been happening while Vox Political has been concentrating on other things:

NHS 111 delays force patients to wait 20 times longer than promised

Patients calling NHS 111 are being left on hold for 20 times longer than the expected time, data show, as the public is urged to use the service instead of going to accident and emergency.

The helpline for medical advice aims to answer calls in 20 seconds or less on average, according to an NHS benchmark. However, the latest official figures show the average time to answer a call was 395 seconds – six and a half minutes.

It seems the Tories have finally put the NHS on its last legs. If you do get through, but you have a serious problem, what are the chances of being treated when fundholding GPs are incentivised to work on the cheapest and easiest problems first, leaving people with more difficult ailments to wait – or go private and have to deal with doctors who don’t have a clue?

Union admits supply chain will be ‘severely disrupted’ as port workers go on strike

Almost 2,000 workers have walked out of their jobs on an eight-day workers’ strike – the latest in a summer of industrial action.

About 1,900 members of Unite, including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores, are taking part in the first strike to disrupt the port in 31 years, following a more than nine-one vote in favour.

The union is asking for a pay rise in line with inflation – which currently stands at 12.3 per cent. Workers had previously been offered a 7% increase, as well as a £500 lump sum payment.

Strikers have accepted that their action will severely disrupt the supply chain – which has already suffered deep harm because of the Tory Brexit. It seems Conservative government policy is to inflict shortage after shortage upon the people – in the hope that many of us won’t survive it?

‘Nobody is helping’: Barristers vote for ‘indefinite’ strike starting next month

Criminal barristers in England and Wales have voted in favour of an escalation of strike action.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA), which represents lawyers prosecuting and defending those accused of crimes in England and Wales, said its members had backed a plan to go on strike “on an indefinite basis” from Monday 5 September.

They join rail staff, teachers and civil servants in backing or considering industrial action over the coming months at a time when pay awards are lagging behind the four-decade high rate of inflation.

The CBA has said its members have suffered an average decrease in earnings of 28% since 2006 – when taking inflation into account – and has accused the government of refusing to engage in negotiations “aimed at finding a fair settlement”.

There is a backlog of more than 60,000 cases, with 6,000 having suffered disruption due to this strike action. The victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, said the action was “the latest symptom of a criminal justice system that is severely and recklessly underfunded” and warned that victims of crime will pay the price and continue to suffer while the government allows criminals to go unpunished.

Sharkey says Government to blame for ‘sorry mess’ of sewage on our beaches

The Government’s failure to control the water industry is to blame for the “sorry mess” of sewage pumped into Britain’s beaches, an environmental campaigner has said.

Feargal Sharkey said three decades of poorly regulated profiteering among water companies and a “vacuum of political oversight” had resulted in a state of “extraordinary chaos”.

Reacting to reports that monitors being used for measuring the levels of sewage in the sea are faulty, he warned that beach-goers have no clear picture of the amount of waste in the water they swim in.

Event Duration Monitors (EDMs) used by firms across the UK either did not work for at least 90% of the time or had not been installed at all, the Liberal Democrats have found.

One has to admire Feargal Sharkey, the former pop singer turned environmental campaigner. His is the voice to trust on the ongoing pollution of our waterways that was precipitated by the imbecilic sale of the UK’s water and sewage systems to private owners by Margaret Thatcher in 1989. Sadly there is no political will to bring this nightmare back under control.

Britons facing prospect of higher food prices after US firm rejects offer to save crucial manufacturing plant

Britons are facing the prospect of higher food prices after a US firm rejected an offer to save a crucial manufacturing plant, an MP has warned.

The shutdown of CF Industries’ fertiliser factory in Ince, Cheshire, is all but complete after a UK-based group of investors failed in a rescue bid. Hundreds of jobs have been lost at the facility.

CF produces 60 per cent of Britain’s CO2 supplies as a by-product of agricultural fertiliser. The gas is crucial in packing and preserving fresh food and salads.

Labour MP Justin Madders, whose constituency includes Ince, said the factory closure means CF has a ‘stranglehold over fertiliser prices in the UK’.

There’s an opportunity here for someone. It seems former Army chief Lord Dannatt wanted to buy the plant but CF didn’t want to sell, which indicates that it wanted to push up CO2 prices – understandable, considering it had a government bailout in 2021 so its finances can’t be particularly good. One wonders how much its bosses and shareholders take home in pay and dividends, though.

And if one fertiliser factory can offer CO2 as a by-product, can’t others do the same? There must be a business model that will work.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Covid HAS harmed online politics – but so have social media platforms that suppress alternatives

The Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdowns that forced so many of us online for our social interactions has polarised and poisoned political debate, according to some arguments.

But is it really the people reading and responding who are fouling the well, or the organisations dictating what they see and influencing how they respond?

This Writer’s experience is that people turned away from politics – hugely – during the lockdowns, and are now only slowly returning.

Vox Political had its highest-ever readership in March 2020 – nearly one million hits, and I think that was because I was reporting the failures of Boris Johnson’s leadership on Covid in an unbiased way.

Readership remained high during April and May, but then it suddenly and sharply dropped off during June.

It is certainly possible that some of this decline was due to the debate about Covid-19. In his article on the BBC News website, Richard Morris puts forward views that Dominic Cummings’s visit to Barnard Castle polarised the public, as did the debate on mask-wearing and the lockdowns themselves. I would add the debate on vaccination, also.

But who fuelled those debates? Suddenly the social media were full of “experts” we’d never heard of before, all screaming that their view was right and we were fools if we didn’t accept it.

Who promoted those views? Who gave them the space? Wasn’t it right-wing media outlets with an agenda to get people back out of their homes, never minding that they were in danger of death from the disease, and into work making money for rich industrialists again?

How many Tory MPs spent the whole of the crisis ranting about the economy when they should have been concerned with their constituents’ health?

And how many right-wing social media organisations minimised rational debate by using algorithms that push links to sites like mine down users’ notifications in order to starve us of followers and views?

I’m thinking of Facebook under Nick Clegg, and of Twitter, because those are main outlets of mine. Vox Political‘s following on FB has been static at 42,500 for years because of this mistreatment.

It’s a recordable phenomenon. I have lost count of the number of old readers who have contacted me to say they were amazed Vox Political was still going because they had not seen a link for (insert long time period here), despite having asked to be alerted when notifications are posted.

And sites like mine lose out on shares because people are afraid they will be criticised for supporting points of view that don’t conform with those of their more loudly-opinionated right-wing acquaintances who have only gained a platform because they have received preferential treatment.

None of this is properly addressed in the Morris article.

Instead we see information that five per cent of UK internet users are in a “left-wing echo chamber” and two per cent of them are in a similar position on the right.

We see an opinion that “it’s ‘only human’ for journalists, politicians and those in media to see extreme negative reactions to their posts online and for this to ‘colour your perception of the whole world the same way’, with no discussion of who is posting those reactions and why.

Do you remember the government’s Nudge Unit, which is now at least partly in private hands? It was a shady organisation David Cameron used to push the public into supporting his policies by subtly guiding us into decisions we would not have taken otherwise.

So, for example, people may have found themselves supporting the benefit policies that have killed thousands of good people for no reason, because they were “nudged” into believing that benefit claimants were all scroungers who were perfectly capable of work but were defrauding the system (tell that to the diabetes sufferer who could not keep his insulin at the right temperature because he could not afford to power his fridge – oh, but you can’t: he’s dead).

The article concludes by saying it may “take years to find out the lasting impact on society of what took place in the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021” – but I think it’s worse than that.

I think after those years have passed, we’ll be presented with a conclusion about what happened that suits the people in power now – because they will have used all the levers at their disposal, including manipulation of the social media by “nudging”, to make you believe them.

Call me paranoid if you like, but what did you think of mask-wearing and social distancing, of the lockdowns, of vaccinations before somebody told you they were wrong? How did that affect you? And how many people do you know who were swayed by these dangerous whispers?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Also in the news: state of the nation? The nation’s in a RIGHT state!


Here are some of the stories This Site hasn’t had time to cover.

They present a snapshot of the UK today – a country that is in serious danger from its own institutions.

The police:

The Home Office:

The way the UK looks after (ha ha!) its Armed Forces veterans:

The government:

The prime minister:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Also in the news: our democracy is under threat – from incompetent Tory fools

Here’s some of the news that other people have seen fit to print in the last 24 hours or so.

(Does Keir Starmer have a second job, perhaps?)

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The future’s so dark, we all need a laugh

How do we, here in the UK, respond to the fact that our political so-called “leaders” have dumped us in the worst situation they possibly could?

By laughing at them – and the state they’ve put us in.

More serious action may follow, but for the moment, let’s enjoy what we can. No prizes for guessing any news stories that prompted the following:

There was another one on Facebook about the age difference between Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie: “It might be all sunshine now she’s 33 and he’s 56 but what about in 10 years’ time when she’s 43 and he’s in prison?”

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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After ‘violent speech in politics’ row, Starmer talks about giving the Left ‘a good kicking’


I would ask how anybody could vote for a party leader this stupid, but we live in a country that is run by Boris Johnson.

Suffice it to say that, a matter of days after the murder of Sir David Amess and the subsequent hysteria about violent speech in politics, Keir Starmer was on Good Morning Britain, agreeing with Richard Madeley about giving Labour socialists “a good kicking”.

Perhaps he could be partially excused for being drawn into the conversation by Madeley – who knew exactly what he was doing and that it was unacceptable, have no doubt:

It seems that Madeley (and GMB) has lurched to the right after that programme’s period criticising Boris Johnson over his (many) Covid-19 failures.

But be honest – in the light of this performance, do you think perhaps these people were always fascists? (It is fascist language, after all.)

Let’s have a look at some of the people that Madeley – and Starmer – want to give “a good kicking”. Here’s one:

And here’s another:

Fortunately some of us can still laugh at the ridiculous so-called Labour “leader”:

But the question is to be asked:

And the answer, inevitably, is not long coming: he’s still desperate for some hard-right business mogul to bail Labour out of the bankruptcy he is plunging it into:

It seems he has already sold his own soul.

Now he’s selling Labour’s.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Man arrested after MP Sir David Amess stabbed – BBC

Stabbed: Sir David Amess.

A man has been arrested after Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed at a constituency surgery.

The 69-year-old, who is MP for Southend West, is thought to have been attacked as he met constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church.

This Writer is not able to write full articles today (October 15) because I am preparing to take part in the Festival of Resistance in Nottingham over the weekend – but I wanted to make stories available for reader comment, and possibly for deeper discussion after I return.

Source: Sir David Amess stabbed at constituency meeting

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Private firm that screwed up 43k C19 tests only existed 4 months before Tory contract award – SKWAWKBOX

The private firm that gave at least 43,000 people infected with coronavirus a negative result had existed for only four months before being awarded a huge contract by the Tories.

Worse, the owner of the firm also runs another firm involved in PCR testing for the virus – and that firm, Dante, is under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over breaches of the law.

This Writer is not able to write full articles today (October 15) because I am preparing to take part in the Festival of Resistance in Nottingham over the weekend – but I wanted to make stories available for reader comment, and possibly for deeper discussion after I return.

Source: Private firm that screwed up 43k C19 tests only existed 4 months before Tory contract award – SKWAWKBOX

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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