Tag Archives: Rebellion

Here’s the shocking reason your Tory government is more guilty of attacking press freedom than Extinction Rebellion

Dictator: despotic governments attack press freedom – and they do it quietly, while claiming to be doing the exact opposite. That’s exactly what your Boris Johnson-led government has done – and why this image is appropriate.

So much for Boris Johnson’s (and Priti Patel’s) comments about the Extinction Rebellion blockade for Rupert Murdoch’s print works being an attack on the ‘free press’.

On the day before they were making these attacks, the Council of Europe – that the UK founded – issued a formal warning that the Conservative government is a threat to the freedom of the press:

The Council of Europe issued the Level 2 “media freedom alert” after Ministry of Defence press officers refused to deal with Declassified UK, a website focusing on foreign and defence policy stories.

The new alert, issued by the organisation on Friday, was classified by the watchdog as an “act having a chilling effect on media freedom” and put under the “state” category – because the British state was the source of the threat.

It seems the only reason the government was refusing to comment to Declassified is that the Tories were retaliating against previous reporting that was critical of the government’s use of its armed forces.

Writing to urge the government into a rethink, the International Press Institute stated:

“It goes without saying that the exclusion of a media publication by a government ministry due to its investigative reporting would undermine press freedom and set a worrying precedent for other journalists whose job it is to report in the public interest on the British military. Criticism should be no reason to discriminate against a media publication.

“In contrast, tough journalism by outlets such as Declassified UK on matters such as the UK’s foreign and military affairs, uncomfortable though it often may be for those in power, is crucial for a transparent and functioning democracy.”

So your Tory government had deliberately and silently sabotaged the workings of “transparent and functioning democracy” by restricting press freedom on the day before it accused XR of the same thing with a public and popular demonstration.

Source: Council of Europe issues media freedom alert over UK government blacklisting of investigative journalists | The Independent | Independent

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Blockade of printworks highlights the fact: the UK does NOT have a ‘free press’

Blockade: Extinction Rebellion members at a Murdoch print works.

Could you feel the Establishment rage at being told its propaganda mouthpieces aren’t providing us with the news?

It seems 72 members of Extinction Rebellion did, after they were arrested in protests targeting three printing installations owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Why does he need three? Because he owns too many newspapers and they all print what he wants – not what the people need to know.

So the disruption at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, Knowsley in Merseyside, and near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire hit the distribution of his publications including The Sun, The Times, The Scottish Sun, along with those belonging to some of the few other billionaires who own the UK’s national press, including the Daily Telegraph (Barclay brothers), Daily Mail (Jonathan Harmsworth – Viscount Rothermere), and the Evening Standard (Evgeny Lebedev).

Do you really think any of these moguls will let their papers publish anything they don’t want you to think?

This Writer is reminded of the words of the late, great Tony Benn – that nobody should be allowed to own more than one newspaper. Then we would at least have a more free press than we have now.

Further to this, consider the onslaught under which those of us in the social media have to work every day. We don’t have the massive advertising resources of the Murdochs of this world, so we have to rely on organisations like Twitter and Facebook to spread our message virally.

And organisations like Facebook and Twitter respond by suppressing us. Facebook has an algorithm designed to push posts from left-wing news sites down people’s newsfeeds so they don’t see them.

This Site is currently having to cope with an 84 per cent drop in income due to its articles being suppressed in this way. One commenter on the Vox Political Facebook page said it had been so long since they had seen a link to one of my articles, they thought I had given up!

But if you check the “Archives” list to the left of these words, you’ll see that Vox Political has been publishing articles continuously – every day, barring a few rare exceptions – for years.

The only reason people don’t see links to my posts is because somebody else doesn’t want them to.

Yet Boris Johnson and all the other hypocrites only complain about attacks on the “free press” when their propaganda sheets take the hit.

Just look at the nonsense spoken about this by the Establishment stooges quoted in the BBC’s story – and where possible, let’s contrast it with what Extinction Rebellion has to say about these people:

Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

“It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.”

Have you seen that from the Murdoch press, the Torygraph, the Heil and the Standard in response to the decisions of his government – the worst Tory government ever to blight the United Kingdom? No.

 

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stephens, said: “People have the right to read the newspapers they want.

“Stopping them from being distributed and printers from doing their jobs is wrong.”

People also deserve to be told what their money is supporting, though. It isn’t fair to let them go on paying these propagandists without knowing exactly what they’re buying.

ER has been scathing about Starmer Labour’s “business as usual” approach:

This is worth reading too:

Actually, let’s go into this a bit because Labour’s position, under Keir Starmer, frankly, stinks.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Brent MP who has suffered racism from the police, from her own constituents, and from members of her own party (if a certain leaked report is to be believed – and I do), tweeted in support of XR – and was then ordered to take it down by Starmer’s minions:

Could anything demonstrate Starmer’s Establishment credentials better? He must not be allowed to get anywhere near 10 Downing Street because he’ll only stamp on all our faces harder than Johnson (to paraphrase Orwell).

Here’s what Starmer’s – and Labour’s – response to her tweet should have been:

Let’s just put the seal on this:

Right. Back to the Tories:

And Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted the overnight action by XR was an “attack on democracy”.

Obviously there are too many sharp responses to Patel for me to publish here, so I’ll restrict myself to pointing out that she has nothing to say about attacks on the left-wing social media – which would be an “attack on democracy” by the same token.

Here’s ER:

The bosses and editors of the newspapers involved have all condemned the action; they would, though, wouldn’t they? I see no reason to comment on their words.

Extinction Rebellion itself has made it clear that the blockade was a response to the so-called ‘free press’ suppressing reports on climate change and the ecological emergency it represents.

A report on its own website states: “The groups are using disruption to expose the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate & ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulatIon of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.

“The right wing media is a barrier to the truth, failing to reflect the scale and urgency of the crisis and hold governments to account. Coverage in many of the newspapers printed here is polluting national debate on climate change, immigration policy, the rights and treatment of minority groups, and on dozens of other issues. They distract us with hate and maintain their own power and wealth, profiting from our division. We can’t move forward until this barrier falls.

“Five billionaires are the majority voting shareholders for most of the UK national newspapers, with a combined weekly readership of 49million. Three companies alone (News UK, DMG and Reach) dominate 83% of the national newspaper market (up from 71% in 2015). This small group of extremely powerful people manipulate the media narrative to serve their own ends.”

Is it really a free press if it is only used to put us in chains?

The response on the social media has been very clear on that:

And some have made the important point that Tories like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have actually avoided passing laws to ensure press freedom:

That’s right.

If the press really is free and fair, why have the Tories spent years blocking a full public examination of its wrongdoing?

Source: Extinction Rebellion protesters block newspaper printing presses – BBC News

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Typical: After the Extinction Rebellion protests, Jeremy Corbyn is the only leader who listened

“Tell the truth”: The ‘pink boat’ at Oxford Circus became a symbol of the Extinction Rebellion protest.

It turns out Michael Gove didn’t “get the message” after all.

The nation’s Environment Secretary has done nothing to respond to the environmental catastrophe highlighted by the Extinction Rebellion protests in London over the last two weeks.

Instead it has fallen to Jeremy Corbyn – much-maligned by dimwits – to bring the matter to Parliament for a vote.

I was talking about this issue with a friend last week, and he said that people here in the United Kingdom think they are insulated from climate crisis – that we live in a society that is well-enough ordered that it can survive an emergency. That they didn’t “get the message” either.

Because if the climate emergency goes much further, supplies of food will break down. Crops will fail; even more animals will die (half of the world’s species have already gone, within This Writer’s lifetime).

Even here in the UK, my friend said, people will be fighting each other on the streets for the last precious morsels of food.

That’s if this goes too far.

The message to humanity is simple: Change or die.

But people like Mr Gove, and the big business interests he prefers to represent instead of the people who elected him, still need to “get the message”.

Perhaps it is time to put the “rebellion” into the name of Extinction Rebellion.

Perhaps it is time to make a list of the people who are perpetuating the climate catastrophe; the people responsible for the planet’s sixth extinction event (which is what we’re going through right now). They are the worst mass-murderers in history so we really do need to record their names in our history books.

And perhaps it is time to put them up against a wall and put the message to them in the bluntest, most immediate terms: “Change or die.”

I know. It’s an unusual comment for This Writer. Usually I am the strongest advocate of peaceful methods. But “Change or die” – right?

Perhaps we could start with Mr Gove.

Labour will force a vote on Wednesday to try to make the UK the world’s first country to declare a climate emergency.

Senior party figures confirmed they will use their opposition day in the Commons to move the environment to the top of the agenda.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Extinction Rebellion protests in London and other cities, in which 1,100 were arrested, had been a “wake up call” and he would urge the Government to act.

He said: “Only concerted government intervention through a Green Industrial Revolution can deliver this scale of change. We can and will harness the power of new technologies for social and environmental justice.”

Extra: Here are a few more names to add to the list – the leaders of the company that has been given oil-drilling rights in the Golan Heights by Israel, which has been illegally occupying this part of Syria for decades.

Here they are:

That’s Genie Energy: Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, James Woolsey, Bill Richardson, Larry Summers, Michael Steinhardt and Jacob Rothschild.

Hmm. A Rothschild – the name that has become synonymous with the anti-Semitic stereotype about Jews being in control of the world’s money, or some such nonsense.

Do you think he’s on that board so its critics can be accused of anti-Semitism?

Source: Labour wants UK to be first country in the world to declare climate emergency – Mirror Online


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The Tory government is on the brink of collapse with multiple rebellions threatening to topple it

Theresa May’s government is facing not just one, but multiple rebellions that are threatening to push the UK into an autumn election.

Backbenchers have already warned they may defeat their own government over Universal Credit in what This Site has described as an act of selfishness in order to save their own Parliamentary seats.

Now it seems she is facing two threats over Brexit.

The Democratic Unionist Party has threatened to withdraw from the “confidence and supply” deal that is propping up Mrs May’s minority Tory government. If its MPs vote against the Philip Hammond’s Budget it will be defeated – and this will be seen as a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May’s leadership. This won’t automatically trigger an election because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, but it seems likely an election would be demanded along with her resignation as the Conservatives would no longer be able to pass any legislation in Parliament.

Not only that, but it seems David Davis, the former Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, is calling on cabinet ministers to mutiny against Mrs May’s plan for Brexit, saying her bid to keep the UK in a customs union is unacceptable.

Oh, and the number of letters demanding a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May, submitted to the chair of the backbench 1922 committee, now totals 44 – just four short of the magic 48 needed to trigger such a vote.

She’s clearly living on borrowed time. Politically she is a dead woman walking, as I’ve suggested previously.

And it’s no surprise, when her government is actually advising British businesses to leave the UK because of Brexit. That is an insane position for any national government to take. See for yourself:

Of course, some of the threats may be more serious than others:

That’s as may be, but the other threats seem all-too-real.

The diabolical state of Mrs May’s Brexit negotiations has added momentum to calls for a so-called “people’s vote” – as encapsulated in Gary Lineker’s video:

The man makes a good point.

But will such a vote be necessary of the UK ends up with a change of management before any irreversible changes happen?

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Tories urged to ‘come together’ amid rows over Brexit

Theresa Villiers is concerned about BRINO: “BRexit In Name Only”.

This Writer has heard there are four different factions in the Cabinet alone, all pulling in different directions on Brexit.

So Mrs May has to worry about her policy on Brexit, as well as the fact that she’s likely to lose lots of councils in the local elections in May.

Conservatives must “come together in a spirit of mutual respect”, a cabinet minister says amid backbench criticism over Brexit and policy direction.

David Lidington told the BBC the “left, right and centre” of the party should look at the “bigger picture”.

One Tory MP tweeted: “We need to get a grip and lead” while another urged “less policy making by tortoise”.

Ex-cabinet minister Theresa Villiers joined those concerned the UK would remain in the EU “in all but name”.

Source: Tories urged to ‘come together’ amid rows


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Town traders move ‘offshore’ to ‘nudge’ government into ending corporate tax avoidance

151111Crickhowell
Congratulations are due to traders in Crickhowell – very near the home of Vox Political – who are using the tools of corporate tax avoiders against them.

The Powys Tax Rebellion, as it has become known, began when independent traders decided they weren’t prepared to pay huge amounts of tax while the likes of Google and Starbucks avoided paying billions. They formed a consortium with its own tax plan – and want to encourage others to do the same.

This is where the scheme turns out to be doubly clever.

You see, for the past few years the Cameron government has been using coercive strategies to ‘nudge’ people into behaviour they would not otherwise display – pushing benefit claimants into carrying out all sorts of silly exercises for no very good reason is a prime example.

With this scheme, participants in the Powys Tax Rebellion are forcing the government to play its own game – ‘nudging’ David Cameron and George Osborne towards tax reforms that might – just might – make the system fairer for everybody.

They wouldn’t do it on their own; they wouldn’t do it under persuasion. Now they are being forced to face the possible loss of billions from small businesses who have had enough.

And it’s about time.

Vox Political is hoping to be able to signpost interested parties towards details of the scheme and information on how they can use it in the very near future. For now, here’s how The Independent reported on the rebellion:

When independent traders in a small Welsh town discovered the loopholes used by multinational giants to avoid paying UK tax, they didn’t just get mad.

Now local businesses in Crickhowell are turning the tables on the likes of Google and Starbucks by employing the same accountancy practices used by the world’s biggest companies, to move their entire town “offshore”.

Advised by experts and followed by a BBC crew, family-run shops in the Brecon Beacons town have submitted their own DIY tax plan to HMRC, copying the offshore arrangements used by global brands which pay little or no corporation tax.

The Powys tax rebellion, led by traders including the town’s salmon smokery, local coffee shop, book shop, optician and bakery, could spread nationwide.

Crickhowell residents want to share their tax avoidance plan with other towns, in a bid to force the Treasury into legislation to crack down on loopholes which allowed the likes of Amazon to pay just £11.9m of tax last year on £5.3bn of UK internet sales.

Source: Crickhowell: Welsh town moves ‘offshore’ to avoid tax on local business | UK | News | The Independent

UPDATE November 11, 2015: Jo Carthew, of Black Mountains Smokery, one of the businesses involved in the Powys Tax Rebellion, said: “”As one of many family businesses based in the small town of Crickhowell, who rely heavily on visitors and tourism, we need to protect our independent high street from big brands.

“We believe in paying tax but firmly believe that big companies should pay their fair share too. The concept we have come up with will hopefully demonstrate that, in principle, small businesses working in coalition could become more tax efficient by mimicking strategies used by multinationals.

“We intend this to serve as a ‘threat’ to government rather than a ‘promise’ – an incentive to encourage them to close loopholes in the tax laws.”

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