Tag Archives: theory

‘Bill Gates is microchipping you’: Vaccine roll-out prompts return of anti-vaxxer conspiracy flapdoodle

The BBC debunked this hoax months ago but you can expect more, now we have a Covid-19 vaccine.

Don’t be surprised if your Facebook and Twitter feeds start filling up with nonsense about the new Covid-19 vaccines being used to exert sinister control over you.

Mrs Mike read one out to me today. It claimed that Bill Gates is putting a trackable microchip into each dose of the vaccine so he can see what we’re all doing.

It’s an old hoax, folks. The BBC debunked it in May:

The head of the Russian Communist party … said that so-called “globalists” supported “a covert mass chip implantation which they may in time resort to under the pretext of a mandatory vaccination against coronavirus”.

He didn’t mention Mr Gates by name but in the US, Roger Stone, a former adviser to Donald Trump, said Bill Gates and others were using the virus for “microchipping people so we can tell ‘whether you’ve been tested’.”

A YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggest[ed] that 28% of Americans believe[d] that Bill Gates want[ed] to use vaccines to implant microchips in people – with the figure rising to 44% among Republicans.

Rumours took hold in March when Mr Gates said in an interview that eventually “we will have some digital certificates” which would be used to show who’d recovered, been tested and ultimately who received a vaccine. He made no mention of microchips.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says: “The reference to ‘digital certificates’ relates to efforts to create an open-source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing.”

Don’t be fished in by these nonsense stories.

They are attempts to harm you, by people who do not have your well-being at heart.

And you can be sure that they are dreaming up more trash as I type this.

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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Prince Andrew implicated in Jeffrey Epstein case just as accused financier is found dead. Conspiracy theories fly…

There are shades of the old ‘Jack the Ripper’ conspiracy theories about this.

Back in the day, one of the theories about Jack was that the Whitechapel murderer was cleaning up the mess left by an errant member of the Royal Family who had enjoyed the company of ladies of the night, to the point where he managed to get one of them with child (as the saying goes). So a member of the Establishment (or several) was sent out to eliminate this person in a way that would not obviously implicate the royals.

It’s a good story. Who knows?

Today, we learn that financier Jeffrey Epstein, imprisoned on suspicion of supplying under-age girls to perform sex acts on visitors to his Manhattan and Florida mansions, has been found dead in his cell.

By a curious coincidence, today we also learned that Prince Andrew was accused of being a participant in one of these occasions.

Here’s how the BBC described it:

The accusation is contained in documents from a 2015 defamation case.

The court papers were released on Friday, a day before wealthy US financier Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Contained in the defamation case papers is an allegation by a woman called Johanna Sjoberg that Prince Andrew touched her breast while they sat on a couch in Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Buckingham Palace has said that any suggestion of impropriety between Prince Andrew and “underage minors” is “categorically untrue”.

But the demise of Epstein just one day after details of the allegation were released to the public has been like a red rag to certain social media bulls.

“Jeffrey Epstein suicide?” This from Sonia Poulton on Facebook.

“Bit convenient for a man with paedophile links to the rich and famous – from celebrity to royalty – to die in custody.

“The case will die with him because no one else was charged. And that’s the way it goes. That’s how the rich and powerful continue to get away with raping children. No time for polite words.

“I don’t believe this news. He was on suicide watch FFS. Paedophiles & their accomplices lie.”

Political Provocateur (who created the image above) suggested this: “The establishment will do their most to keep the truth behind this well and truly hidden. Was it suicide? I doubt it. If he is dead, you can be sure his body will be cremated quickly without an autopsy to determine the cause of death. There is also a possibility that his death could be staged. People like him with power and money can buy anything – including their freedom.”

“Epstein could have brought down government and monarchy. That’s some big s**t. Despite being on suicide watch he’s dead.”

“BREAKING: Buckingham Palace denies accusations Duke of York once had 10,000 men. More soon …”

“And poor Fergie was left sucking toes..”

“I wonder who his death is down to – the royals or the establishment? I sure as hell don’t believe it was suicide!”

“All files will now be conveniently ‘LOST”!”

It goes on and on.

And I think, like ‘Jack the Ripper’, this case will never be solved to anybody’s satisfaction.

With Epstein’s death, the case against him will be closed. In any case, he’s undoubtedly the only one who knew exactly what happened and who was involved.

Nobody will know the facts. But everybody will have a theory.

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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It doesn’t matter which theory underpins Tory disability jobs strategy – they’re both awful

[Image: Lisa Norwood via photopin cc.]

So the Tories have moved from trying to make people with disabilities believe their health problems are all in their mind to trying to make them believe society is stopping them from getting a job?

Neither seem helpful ways of getting these people to live a useful life, if you ask This Writer!

And to be honest, I don’t see much effort made to get society to adjust to help people with disabilities. Look at Philip Hammond’s comment that disabled workers were holding back productivity in the UK economy.

He was saying there’s no point employing people with disabilities because the adjustments they require cancel out any usefulness they have.

How are we to expect employers to offer them any opportunities after that?

The Biopsychosocial model has been explored at length on This Site, and I am grateful to see that it is supposed to be discredited.

But I haven’t seen any evidence that the questions in assessment interviews have changed, or that the decisions made by assessors are based on criteria that are any more sympathetic.

According to Welfare Weekly, more than 220,000 people have been awarded zero points after being assessed for Personal Independence Payment, in the last 18 months.

The same article claimed 180,000 people have been denied PIP after being told to transfer from Disability Living Allowance, again in the last 18 months, despite having been in receipt of the other benefit.

These are people who have been told that there is nothing wrong with them – or at least nothing that would justify them drawing benefit money to help them cope with their disabilities in everyday life.

That seems to bear out the claim that the BPS model is still being used, and people are still being told their disabilities are all in their minds – and blamed for it, rather than helped.

The civil servant who leads the government’s work and health unit has sparked fresh concerns that the new disability employment strategy could be heavily influenced by the discredited “biopsychosocial” (BPS) model of disability.

Tabitha Jay told a meeting of the all-party parliamentary group for disability (APPGD) … that the social model of disability underpinned the strategy, which has an aim of seeing one million more disabled people in work over the next 10 years.

But she also appeared to suggest that the BPS model was “running in parallel” to the social model within the strategy.

The BPS model places blame for being unemployed on the individual disabled person and their supposed negative attitudes towards working, whereas the social model explains that it is the barriers in society – and not people’s impairments.

Source: Civil servant sparks fresh concerns over ideological basis of jobs strategy


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Prize for father of infamous Tory ‘nudge’ unit means Nobel committee should be ashamed

Richard Thaler: His theory has allowed the UK’s Conservative-led governments to victimise thousands of vulnerable jobseekers.

It is a travesty that the Nobel Prize for economics has been awarded to a man whose theories were used by the Conservative-led Coalition government of 2010-15 to manipulate unemployed people into inappropriate work.

Richard Thaler’s ‘nudge’ theory acknowledged that people frequently make bad decisions in their lives, thus contradicting one of the central tenets of economics – that people will always act rationally for their own good.

The theory suggests that the way choices are phrased or presented – the ‘choice architecture’ can be framed so that it nudges people towards the most beneficial outcome without restricting their personal freedom.

That is not what has happened. Look at the Coalition’s Behavioural Insights Unit, an organisation originally attached to the Cabinet Office, that used the theory to ‘nudge’ people towards decisions that benefited the Conservative Party and not the individuals concerned.

The best example of this is the fake questionnaire put out by the Department for Work and Pensions to manipulate jobseekers into doing what the Department wanted, rather than what was in their own best interests.

In theory, Thaler may have had a point. In practice, the UK government turned it into attempted mind control.

As the Skwawkbox article in the link above states, the questionnaire was rigged to suggest people had strengths that their answers did not bear out: “Untold numbers of people running around trying to use ‘strengths’ that actually have nothing to do with their actual personality – all under the threat of losing their income if they fail to comply.”

So ‘nudge’ theory was used to lie to vulnerable people, and to threaten them with destitution if they did not do as the Tories demanded.

And for this, the Nobel committee has given Richard Thaler a prize?

A demand for an apology would be better – along with financial restitution for all those whose lives have been blighted – or ended – by the implementation of his theory by genocidal politicians.

Richard Thaler has won the Nobel economics prize for his contributions to behavioural economics.

He championed the concept of “nudging” people, through subtle changes in government policy, to do things that are in their long-term self-interest, such as saving for a pension.

“Richard Thaler’s contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making, said the Nobel committee.

“His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioural economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy.”

Source: The economist behind the Nudge theory just won a Nobel prize


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Second arrest over Parsons Green bomb attempt. Do you STILL think it was faked?

Police investigations are ongoing at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Now two people have been arrested in connection with the failed bomb attack at Parsons Green tube station – but This Writer is willing to bet that still isn’t enough to convince some of you that it was real.

The Vox Political Facebook feed is full of comments straight out of the tinfoil hat:

“This looks like a phones gone pop or laptop’s gone pop. English molehill mountain… No bomb damage just a burning bucket.”

That would be because the bomb didn’t explode; only the detonator. That’s why it only caused a fireball which swept through the train carriage and singed 30 people (some quite badly), rather than a conflagration that could have killed them all, along with many more.

“No scorch marks then? Handbag must be very strong to survive a blast that injured so many.”

This comment refers to the following image:

[Image: @RRigs].

Of course the side of the handbag that would have taken any damage is facing away from the camera. Also, a fireball would have gone upwards and travelled along the carriage’s ceiling, not outwards. Finally, we have no idea when the handbag was put there; the image was clearly taken after the detonator had been triggered but beyond that we have no idea of the context.

“Gonna get a Lidl’s bag they are indestructible.”

This refers to the fat that the device appeared to be in a plastic bag from the Lidl supermarket chain. Look at the image, though – it clearly wasn’t indestructible.

“If this device sent a fireball down the length of the carriage I don’t understand why there are no signs of any scorch marks in the immediate vicinity, and the white plastic container is in pristine condition.”

Because the flames went upwards, not outwards, as stated previously.

Here’s an image typical of the kind of ‘false flag’ meme going around. They claim that we’re being misled but This Writer’s belief is that they have been created to mislead:

In response, I wrote: “No, it’s the aftermath of a FAILED bomb. It didn’t go off, remember? The fireball was from the detonator. If the bomb had gone off, there would have been a LOT more damage and your sarcastic little meme would be in extremely poor taste.
Seriously, have a think about what has actually happened before posting nonsense like this.
In response to the concluding question: No; it looks like the aftermath of a FAILED bomb.”

Another commenter pointed out: “Flammable gas tends not to burn a lot of things if its source it cut off before it can cause anything else to combust. That’s why it’s so widely used as a ‘safe’ flame source in film and TV production.”

The nonsense goes on and on.

One commenter compared a victim being walked away from the site with a bandage around her head with someone dubbed a “crisis” actress – but the resemblance was only superficial. It was not the same person.

But the boneheads were out in force. Here’s another one: “It doesn’t matter if they are crisis actors or not. If we don’t know by now that the security services are complicit in these false flags then we really need to knock our own heads – preferably with something hard!”

Of course we don’t know anything of the sort and there is no evidence to suggest that our own security services took part in an attack on innocent UK citizens, which would be a contradictin of their own purpose.

What do the people who were injured have to say?

Here’s some sense from another commenter: “I think the facts must come from the people who were there. There WERE some serious burns, one man lost hair from the top of his head and his scalp was burned, on the initial interviews there were people with bandages on their heads and hands and burned clothing. The flames travelled down the carriage at roof level according to what I heard, and a lot of people will have ducked down which would be the natural response and would have been shielded by others less lucky.

“My OPINION – and that of others I have discussed it with, is that the explosion was actually much less serious than it was intended to be, and fortunately for the victims, something went wrong with it resulting in only a small explosion when a much larger one was planned.”

This opinion is shared by another commenter who happens to be friend of This Writer and a former member of the armed forces: “The influencing factor in most IEDs is not the explosive used but the containment of the explosive to build pressure while it burns up. Contain the explosive pressure for just long enough and you have a powerful bomb. Contain it for too long and it doesn’t explode at all, don’t control it for long enough and you get the equivalent of a magnesium flashpot – a short but intense localised burst of heat and light that’s capable of causing 1st/2nd degree burns and loss of hair on people standing close to it but not enough to cause damage to sturdier materials like hard plastics. This is what appears to have happened here and if so, any shrapnel included in the bomb would likely not have been expelled.”

The overwhelming chorus from the ‘false flag’ brigade is that the attempted bomb was a bid by the minority Conservative government to attack what’s left of our civil liberties.

But there’s one big problem with that: We already know that the UK’s ability to detect planned terror attacks has been whittled away by Theresa May and the minority Conservative government. There should be no support for any attempt to remove our remaining civil liberties because it would be the wrong response by this government to a situation for which this government is responsible.

In short: It is irrational to support oppressive measures proposed by a government to stop an emergency that it has created.

The ‘false flag’ brigade should think about that before parading their ignorance across the Internet.

There is another aspect to this story that has been seized and perverted by the ‘false flag’ people – the claim that the first man to be arrested had formerly been fostered by a couple who had looked after hundreds of children, including refugees. The claim is that MI5 had radicalised this 18-year-old in some way.

This Writer is keen to know how that is supposed to work. It seems more likely that, as a refugee, this person was recruited after leaving the care of Roger and Penelope Jones, but I’ll stand corrected if I have to. I suspect I’ll be waiting for confirmation of the story for a very long time.

A second man has been arrested in connection with Friday’s attack on a London Tube train, police said.

The 21-year-old man was arrested in Hounslow, west London, on Saturday night on suspicion of a terror offence and is in custody in south London.

An 18-year-old man is also being held on suspicion of a terror offence over the Parsons Green explosion.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC that the second arrest suggests the attacker was not “a lone wolf”.

Police are searching a residential address in Stanwell, Surrey, in connection with the 21-year-old man’s arrest.

Police are continuing to search a house in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey.

It is thought the 18-year old, who was arrested in the port of Dover on Saturday morning, lives there.

Source: Parsons Green: Second arrest over Tube bombing – BBC News


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Will Question Time’s panel do what Parliament can’t – and hold Iain Duncan Smith to account?

140428IDSshrug

Picture the scene if you can: It’s shortly after 11.35pm on Thursday (June 5) and all my inboxes are suddenly overflowing – with the same message: Iain Duncan Smith will be on Question Time next week.

The implication was that there is an opportunity here – to show the public the homicidal – if not genocidal – nature of the changes to the benefit system this man mockingly describes as “welfare reforms”.

We were given the name of only one other panellist who will be appearing in the June 12 show, broadcast from King’s Lynn: Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. He is certainly the kind of man who should relish a chance to take the politician we call RTU (Returned To Unit) down a peg or two – in fact the Eye has run articles on DWP insanity fairly regularly over the past two decades at least.

Personally I’d like to see him joined by Michael Meacher and Owen Jones, at the very least. A rematch between Smith and Jones would be terrific television (but it is unlikely that the coward IDS would ever agree to it).

All such a panel would need to get started is a question about “welfare reform”. Then they could start at the beginning with the involvement of the criminal US insurance corporation Unum, which has been advising the British government since Peter Lilley was Secretary of State for Social Security. There appears to be a moratorium on even the mention of Unum in the British press so, if this is the first you’ve heard of it, now you know why.

Unum’s version of an unproven strand of psychology known as biopsychosocial theory informs the current work capability assessment, used by the coalition government to evaluate whether a claimant of sickness benefits (Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance or Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment) should receive any money. The assessment leans heavily on the psycho part of the theory – seeking to find ways of telling claimants their illnesses are all in the mind and they are fit for work. This is how Unum wormed its way out of paying customers when their health insurance policies matured – and it is also how Unum received its criminal conviction in the States.

Here in the UK, the work capability assessment appears to have led to the deaths of 3,500 ESA claimants between January and November 2011 – 73 per week or one every two hours or so. These are the only statistics available to us as the Department for Work and Pensions stopped publicising the figures in response to a public outcry against the deaths.

Members of the public have tried to use the Freedom of Information Act to pry updated figures from the DWP. I know of one man who was told that the 2011 figures were provided in an ‘ad hoc’ release and there was no plan for a follow-up; the figures are not collected and processed routinely. The last part of this was a lie, meaning the DWP had illegally failed to respond to a legitimate FoI request.

Having seen that individual attempts to use the FoI Act to get the information had failed, I put in a request of my own and suggested others do the same, resulting in (I am told) 23 identical requests to the DWP in June last year. Apparently this is vexatious behaviour and when I took the DWP to a tribunal earlier this year, it won.

But the case brought out useful information, such as a DWP employee’s admission that “the Department does hold, and could provide within the cost limit, some of the information requested”.

Now, why would the Department, and Iain Duncan Smith himself, want to withhold these figures – and lie to the public about having them? It seems to me that the death toll must have increased, year on year. That is the only explanation that makes sense.

The DWP, and its Secretary-in-a-State, have had their attention drawn to the deaths many times, if not in interviews then in Parliament. DWP representatives (if not Mr Duncan Smith himself) have taken pains to say they have been improving the system – but still they won’t say how many deaths have taken place since November 2011.

If it can be proved that DWP ministers were aware of the problem (and we know they are) but did not change the situation enough to slow the death rate (as seems to be the case), then it seems clear that there has been an intention to ignore the fact that people have been dying unnecessarily. This runs against Human Rights legislation, and a strong case could be made for the corporate manslaughter of thousands of people.

And that’s just ESA!

When we come to PIP, there’s the issue of the thousands of claimants who have been parked – without assessment – for months at a time, waiting to find out if they’ll receive any money.

Universal Credit currently has no budget, it seems, but the DWP is clearly still wasting millions of pounds on a project that will never work as it is currently conceived.

It would be nice to think that at least one member of Thursday’s panel might read this article and consider standing up for the people, but it’s a long shot.

Possibly a million-to-one chance, in fact.

According to Terry Pratchett, that makes it an absolute certainty!

Here’s hoping…

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Lord Young – a talking example of why working people should never vote Conservative

Unrepentant: Ignorant old Tories like Lord Young cannot see anything wrong with starving workers - and, through lack of tax revenue, the benefits bill - to make fat profits for greedy business bosses. The families of all those who have died because of these policies might have a different point of view.

Unrepentant: Ignorant old Tories like Lord Young cannot see anything wrong with starving workers – and, through lack of tax revenue, the benefit budget – to make fat profits for greedy business bosses. The families of all those who have died because of these policies might have a different point of view.

Apparently we are living in an excellent time for businesses to boost their profits – because labour is cheap.

That is what Lord Young, who advises David Cameron on enterprise, told the cabinet yesterday (May 11). His words make it crystal clear that working people who vote Conservative are classic examples of turkeys voting for Christmas. They beg to be exploited.

He said low wage levels in a recession made larger financial returns easier to achieve – in other words, he actually admitted that bosses could use the current state of the UK economy, as caused by his own government (not the previous Labour administration, for reasons we’ve covered in the past), to push workers’ wages down and keep more moolah for themselves.

Vox Political has accused the Conservatives of exactly this behaviour in the past, but we never expected to see a member of the government admit it so brazenly.

Perhaps this is more of the government’s pet ‘nudge’ theory at work. We have seen that benefit increases have been lowered in order to instil fear of destitution in the jobless, and in those who have low-paid jobs. Now, businesses are being urged to capitalise on this, exploiting their workforces with the obvious threat: “There are plenty of other people out there who’ll do it for less!”

Let’s just back this up with some statistics, courtesy of The Guardian , shall we? UK employees’ average hourly earnings have fallen by 8.5 per cent, in real terms, since 2009. That’s adjusting for inflation, and the newspaper got its figure from the Office for National Statistics.

Meanwhile, the 1,000 richest people in the UK are now worth more than £414 billion – up more than £155 billion in the three years to December 2012. And in April, the Tory-led government gave those people a £100,000 per year tax cut.

Lord Young is not to be confused with Sir George Young, the Tory Chief Whip who once famously said “the homeless are what you step over when you come out of the opera” – but he is cut from the same cloth.

He had to apologise after telling the Daily Telegraph that “for the vast majority of people in the country today, they have never had it so good, ever since this recession – this so-called recession – started”.

For this reason it is easy to suggest that he would have stepped over the body of Stephanie Bottrill, had he been the first to find it.

Oh – do you think that statement goes too far? Please, reserve your judgement until I have explained my reasoning.

Like so many members of the Tory government, this is a man who absolutely point-blank refuses to understand the relationship between the decisions he makes and the conditions in which the majority of us are forced to live.

This former advisor to the Prime Minister on health and safety laws has advocated relaxing them, ignoring the fact that this will increase the likelihood of work-related injury that makes it impossible for people who need the money to go to work.

This enterprise advisor was asked to conduct a “brutal” review of the relationship of government to small firms, presumably with a view to cutting off as much public assistance for small businesses as possible.

This former chairman of the Manpower Services Commission advised the late Baroness Thatcher on unemployment, and we may take it that it is due to this advice that joblessness skyrocketed during the Thatcher years.

He refuses to see that his attitude is causing the problem: By ensuring that Britain’s labour market remains “flexible” (read “low-wage”), he ensures that the national tax take remains far lower than it should be; low-paid workers form the overwhelming majority of the workforce. In turn, the low tax take means the government cannot pay off its debts and provides it with an excuse to cut public spending – especially on benefit payments.

Stephanie Bottrill had an auto-immune system deficiency, Myasthenia gravis, which meant she was permanently weak and needed constant medication. Doctors said she was too ill to hold a job, but she never qualified for disability benefits.

She committed suicide because she could not afford the cost of living after the Bedroom Tax was forced on her, and it has been said by others that she died for want of £20 per week.

It is the attitude of Tories like Lord Young that has deprived her of that money – and ultimately, of her life.

Is the algorithm method stopping my messages from multiplying?

facebook

What is going wrong with the social media giant Facebook?

By now, we all know that Facebook took it upon itself to target and attack bloggers – primarily with WordPress, as I understand it – who use the site to publicise their articles, last week. Vox Political was one of those sites.

The censorship took the form of an alert message that appeared on readers’ screens when they clicked through from Facebook to an article by the writers who had been targeted. This message stated: “Facebook thinks this site may be unsafe. If you’re not familiar with it, please provide feedback by marking it as spam (you’ll be brought back to Facebook).”

Anyone trying to ‘share’ a link with other Facebook users was subjected to the infamous and annoying ‘Captcha’ box – this is the time-consuming and difficult method of proving you are a human being by reading a series of letters or numbers, that have been stretched or bent on the screen in a way that we are told prevents automated ‘spam’ systems from understanding it, and then typing the sequence correctly into a box. This is off-putting as it takes time and effort, and many users may have decided not to bother.

All this took place around the time the House of Lords was voting on the regulations that will allow private firms to compete to run NHS services – the privatisation of the NHS; and it also coincided with bowel cancer sufferer Mark McGowan’s crawl from King’s College Hospital to 10 Downing Street, pushing a toy pig with his nose to highlight his view that the privatisation marked out the Conservative-led government as pigs with their snouts in the money trough.

I can’t comment on how this affected anybody else, but my own site certainly suffered as a result, and I complained to Facebook about this treatment, pointing out that the alert message clearly lowered me in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public generally, and caused me to be shunned and avoided – fulfilling not just one but two criteria necessary for an act to constitute defamation – otherwise known as libel.

The problem appeared to resolve itself just before the weekend. Facebook said that it was all a mistake, made by its automated spam-filter algorithms. It seems that WordPress sites all over the world were affected, and there was discussion of it on the WordPress user forums, ending with a post from a staff member saying that “the problem seems to have been fixed on Facebook‘s end on or around April 26th.”

And that should have been the end of it, right?

Well… were these automated systems malfunctioning again on Sunday and Monday? That would seem very strange behaviour, so soon after an initial ‘mistake’ that was so widely discovered, reported and discussed.

Still, I posted an article yesterday and, when I checked this morning, found that – according to Facebook statistics – it had reached a total of 16 people. The previous article, a link to a reblog that I also posted yesterday, had amassed more than 1,700 readers (according to the stats). The article before that – more than 2,000.

That was seriously odd, I thought. Nobody loses 2,000 readers in a day.

Still, I had another article to promote, so I posted the link to “Tory department of dirty deeds swings into pre-election action”. Half an hour later – by which time I would normally have expected to see a ‘total reach’ in the hundreds, that number had stalled on two.

That’s right – two.

“Yes,” said one of my readers in response to a (Facebook) status report asking what the devil was going on, “the government is putting pressure on Facebook to delete some posts and groups which contain political themes, and to slow the process of certain posts being sent for others to see.  Guess Cameron is feeling the heat.”

Conspiracy-theory nonsense? Or a rational response to the evidence? I thought about this for a while. Then I decided to put it to the test.

If Facebook is using spam-filtering algorithms to censor certain messages, then it must be programmed to detect particular words, or combinations of words, I reasoned. Maybe my use of “Tory” alongside “dirty deeds” was what got the article kicked into touch?

So what would happen if I posted a link to the very same article, but this time with an innocuous – if unlikely – headline such as “Peace and harmony breaks out between the British political parties”?

I’ll tell you what happened: ‘Total reach’ of 542 people within half an hour – that’s what! More than the original link – to the same article – had achieved all day. More than it has achieved as I type this, in fact.

Maybe I’m being paranoid – Johnny Void thinks so; he’s been trying to convince me that this really was an innocent glitch, and I’d like to believe him.

But I also want some solid answers. Wouldn’t you?

I’ve written to Facebook; let’s see what happens.

And, while we’re waiting, I might create a new page on Facebook: BASTARDS for CONSERVATISM! The description will read: “We may be illegitimate, but we know our own when we see them!”

That ought to confuse this dodgy algorithm!