Tag Archives: UK

Ignorant Truss branded people outside London as not ‘hard workers’

Trash talker: if Liz Truss thinks people in the UK don’t work hard simply to make a living, she needs to get her head out of whatever dark cavity it has been inhabiting for the last 12 years.

This woman is a disgrace to the United Kingdom. She should not be in politics, let alone in the running to be prime minister.

I refer, of course, to Liz Truss, a co-author of the infamous Britannia Unchained, a book that claimed the British were “among the worst idlers in the world”.

She has disowned that passage, even though her status as co-author suggests endorsement of it, laying the blame for it on Dominic Raab, who at the time it was published was among the worst idlers in Parliament, with one of the lowest attendance records of any MP. He’s now Deputy Prime Minister, indicating that scum rises.

But she can’t disown the words she spoke in a leaked audio recording from a few years ago, when she was Chief Secretary to the Treasury:

In the clip, leaked to The Guardian, Ms Truss said those outside London were less likely to be hard workers.

She said British workers as a whole also lacked the “skill and application” of foreign rivals, specifically those in China.

Ms Truss said it was “partly a mindset or attitude thing” and there seemed little desire to change the working culture so the UK could become more prosperous.

At the time she spoke those words, the UK’s economy was the second most prosperous in Europe. The money just didn’t trickle down to the people who created it (the workers) due to Tory policies.

This Writer can’t speak for large masses of UK-based workers; I can only really discuss my own experience of working here.

So let’s see: before I set up Vox Political, I spent three and a half years working for a local daily newspaper while also acting as carer for Mrs Mike who (famously, to long-term readers of This Site) has long-term illnesses and disabilities.

I have continued to act as her carer throughout the nearly 11 years that VP has been running. At its height, the site had more than 178,000 hits in a single day and I would suggest achieving that required a certain application.

During the time I was caring for Mrs Mike and running Vox Political, I have also helped run two charities, being vice-chair of one for several years, and I am currently the chair of another, that runs a cultural festival here in Mid Wales.

I spent two years on a successful campaign to force the Tory government to publish figures showing that thousands of people who had claimed sickness benefits but were thrown off them had subsequently died, indicating that the decision to sanction them was wrong.

I also had to work hard to prevent the Department for Work and Pensions from cutting off Mrs Mike’s benefit. Its representatives eventually admitted that they had mis-categorised her.

Oh, and I’ve also been a member of several local bands. Well, everybody has to relax somehow – and local audiences seem to enjoy the music.

Does that little list suggest a “lack of application” to you?

If I was feeling as uncharitable as Truss, I would suggest the reason she has spent so long sh*t-talking working people is because she’s had her head stuck where the sun doesn’t shine.

Source: Truss said British workers needed ‘more graft’ and lacked skill of foreign rivals, leaked audio reveals

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A Corbyn government would have followed a much more sane course – Chomsky

Noam Chomsky: the world’s leading left-wing thinker has nothing good to say about the Tories or Keir Starmer and his Labour Party. He says Jeremy Corbyn was the best chance for sane government the UK had – and we threw it away.

One of the world’s leading thinkers, Noam Chomsky, has gone on the record to say that the UK has descended into insanity under the governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson, and that a nation run by Jeremy Corbyn would have been much better.

This Writer can picture the Rachel Rileys of this world foaming at the mouth to scream about Corbyn being an anti-Semite and Chomsky a genocide denier (without evidence – or with very little of it, of course). We’ve experienced that before.

What they’ would really be doing, of course, is distracting people from what Chomsky is actually saying. We’ve experienced that before, as well.

Here’s what he’s saying:

I think if Corbyn had been elected, Britain would be pursuing a much more sane course. I think his general positions were very reasonable. And I think that’s probably the reason for the extraordinary attack on him pretty much across the spectrum, with mostly fabricated charges of antisemitism. Anything that could be thrown at him was, it was a major assault. Again, pretty much across the spectrum, The Guardian, right-wing press, ‘we got to get rid of this guy’.

I think that’s a sign, a reflection of the fact that he had very reasonable proposals. He was also doing something dangerous, he was trying to turn the Labour Party into an authentic political party, one that’s based on its constituents, not some bureaucracy somewhere that runs it and tells people how to vote. That’s scary. We don’t want to have authentic, popular based political parties around, they could be out of control.

Okay, what about the current Labour leader, Keir Starmer? Does he have a good strategy?

It’s a good strategy if you want to turn the Labour Party into a junior partner of the Tories. Pretty much like what Tony Blair did, it used to be called Thatcher light. If that’s what you want, fine. If you want a Labour Party that actually represents the working people of England, middle-class people of England, pursue their interests, it’s not the way to do it.

It looks to me that Starmer’s is pretty much dismantling the activist Labour Party that the Corbyn people were trying to develop.

Valid points – especially in the light of the internecine warfare revealed in the Labour Party by the Forde Report.

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Tory ‘divide and rule’: Rishi Sunak jumps on the benefit-bashing bandwagon

Rishi Sunak: after blaming people who miss medical appointments for failures in the NHS, he’s now attacking benefit claimants for the UK’s economic shortcomings – even though most of them are in work.

Here’s another reason Rishi Sunak should never be prime minister – he wants to blame benefit claimants for his own failure to manage the UK’s economy.

The points made by Peter Stefanovic are self-explanatory but, sadly, nobody in the mainstream media or the top rank of UK politics seems to want to amplify them, so the public as a whole are exposed to an echo chamber of claimant blame – when most benefit claimants are actually in work or seeking it.

The fault lies with Sunak – not with the innocent people he is attacking.

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Is Rishi Sunak saying if he becomes PM, he will jail you for criticising him?

Sunak: if he replaces the man directly behind him on the left, he’ll sink the UK into a mire of extremist fascism – while pretending he’s fighting extremism.

He says he won’t target people who criticise his extremist government with this new plan.

But who would be stupid enough to believe him?

I refer, of course, to Rishi Sunak, who has said those who speak extreme hatred toward the UK will be treated as extremists and referred to the government’s deradicalisation programme Prevent, if he becomes prime minister:

People who display hatred through speech or writing would be referred to Prevent programme, Mr Sunak pledged.

The former Chancellor’s team clarified that the changes would not include criticism of the government or any government policy, and was not legally binding.

Extremism is defined in the 2011 Prevent strategy as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”, as well as calls for the death of armed forces personnel.

Sunak’s team vowed to broaden that out to include “vilification of the UK” to ensure “those with an extreme hatred of our country that leads them to pose a risk to national security can be identified and diverted away from a destructive path”.

Sharp minds have already taken a look at that idea – and found it wanting:

So in fact, it seems Sunak is planning to breed far-right political extremism in the UK by targeting – as extremists – people who disagree with his plan for far-right Tory government.

He’ll use it to Prevent (capital letter intended) people from demanding independence for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And he’ll use it to steamroller opposition to the imminent bonfire of your human and working rights.

And that’s probably just for starters.

If you’re not up in arms about this, you’re asleep and need to wake up.

Some are happy to protest passively:

Others are making the point more forcefully – that this is yet another example of the fascism that has underscored Tory politics for more than a decade now:

This Site has been calling the Conservative government out over its fascism for years – and been vilified for it.

Are you all ready to accept, now, that I might have a point?

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UK businesses expect no growth over next three months

Sunak and Truss: it seems not to matter which of these becomes the next UK prime minister – neither will do anything to address coming surges in the cost of living.

Apparently it doesn’t matter who the next prime minister is going to be; the UK economy is still going down the toilet.

As a lay-person, this suggests to me that neither Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak are promoting any policies that the experts – if I can call them that – at the CBI can recognise as being helpful.

British businesses do not expect any growth over the next three months, as a surging cost of living squeezes consumer demand, a monthly survey showed on Sunday.

The Bank of England has warned that Britain’s economy is likely to contract later this year, when a 40% jump in regulated energy tariffs hits consumers in October, and has forecast the economy will contract slightly next year.

Last week the International Monetary Fund forecast Britain would see the weakest growth of any major economy other than Russia next year.

Source: UK businesses expect zero growth over next 3 months – CBI

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Will you really vote for one of the ‘big’ parties in the local elections?

The ballot box: but will you be putting a vote into one of these on Thursday, May 5? Or do you think Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer have so badly harmed the UK’s democracy that it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and that’s not beyond reason), you’ll know local elections are taking place across the UK tomorrow (Thursday, May 5).

We’ll be electing councils to run services in England, Wales and Scotland, and the government in Northern Ireland.

But probably more importantly, these elections will be viewed as a test of the mood on national issues like the government’s provocation of Russia over the war in Ukraine, its disastrous mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis and the row over parties held in Downing Street while the rest of us were in lockdown, and particularly the current cost-of-living crisis affecting most of the population (but not the Tories’ extremely rich supporters).

If that makes it seem that the Tories should take a hammering, don’t be so sure!

Many parts of England are Conservative heartlands where people will vote for a monkey if it is dressed in a suit with a blue rosette.

And Labour has not acquitted itself in any way honourably over the two and a half years since the last election, with outrage over Keir Starmer’s blind support of the Conservatives during Covid, and his persecution of left-wing party members under a pretence of attacking anti-Semitism.

This Writer asked commenters on Vox Political‘s Facebook page for their opinions and the responses may be informative:

“No reason to vote either Tory or Labour, under current conditions,” wrote one respondent. “Green or PAL if available or you could vote LibDems if no other possibility but I won’t, if there is no Green or PAL candidate I’ll vote independent.”

Another stated: “I think people are seeing the light more and more now. I believe there can and will be change if enough stand together. We are reaching the point where many folk have nothing left to lose, and that will bring change .”

And yet another stated: “Why pretend there’s any reason to vote Labour! Say it how it is!”

There was a large amount of support for denying votes to Labour: “Go green or independent – or do the Labour thing: ABSTAIN,” said one respondent.

“If they can abstain on important issues then you can abstain on Election Day. I plan to,” added another.

“Independent socialist if any available or green,” stated another.

One point of view may be easily encapsulated in this comment: “I won’t be voting Labour whilst Starmer is leader.”

Another respondent added: “With Starmer in charge [of Labour] it’s effectively a one party state.”

But another insisted, “We can all bang on about what ifs and maybes but there are only two parties to vote for,” meaning the Tories or Labour. But they continued: “You have to question your integrity, honesty and morals when voting if you can honestly say the Tories have done nothing wrong and hide behind the saying Johnson is doing great for Ukraine what is he actually doing for this country?”

There was a discussion of whether votes should be spoiled – as these are included in the counts and people believed a large enough number of spoiled ballot papers may spur electoral watchdogs to consider changing the system.

“My advice and I say this every year: if a party doesn’t represent you then write none of the above on your ballot slip and spoil it,” said one respondent. “If enough people do it then they’d have to take notice. Spoiled votes aren’t just discarded; they’re actually counted.”

“I’m gonna advise my fellow no political home pals to discuss exactly this,” another commenter stated.

Nobody advocated voting Conservative.

And the only support for Labour was on the basis that “tepid Tory” was better than “Fascist Tory”. Nobody believed that a Labour Party under Keir Starmer would provide a genuine alternative that might offer prosperity to more than a small number of extremely rich political donors.

Most support went to independent candidates or members of the new left-wing organisations that are springing up to replace Labour as representatives of the majority of UK citizens who are poor and struggling – or for spoiling ballot papers.

So, what will you do?

Will you take the tired old route of supporting whichever of the Big Two parties you think can remove a candidate you despise, even if you don’t support the policies of either of them? (Personally, I would call that madness.)

Will you try supporting somebody new, despite fears that most people will take the first option and your vote will be wasted?

Will you spoil your ballot paper in protest at the undemocratic farce that Johnson and Starmer have made of the UK’s voting system?

Or will you stay at home and not vote at all? If you do, then you’ll have to take the blame if a disaster happens as a result.

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How is foreign access to MPs the NEXT big scandal when they’ve had Boris Johnson for years?

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko, who allegedly has very close links with the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to BBC News, the next big scandal to sweep Boris Johnson’s sleaze-ridden Parliament is likely to be one of hostile states buying access to MPs and Lords.

But we already know that Russia has had access to Johnson himself since long before he became prime minister!

The BBC report says All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are vulnerable to “improper lobbying” by foreign actors, quoting the case of Christine Lee, of the Chinese Communist Party, who helped set up the Chinese in Britain APPG.

It also says she made donations to Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Let’s have a bit of balance:

Political influence: Christine Lee has been donating money to the Conservatives for many years, and has been seen with David Cameron (pictured), Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

This Writer considers the report to be a sign of bias against those parties by the BBC, as the report makes no mention of the massive influence exerted over the Conservative Party – through its leader – by Russia.

And the Russians have never needed APPGs to wield this power – they just went straight to Tory MPs.

Let’s remind ourselves of the UK government’s Russian connections. Consider this:

The so-called ‘Russia Report’, released in July 2020 after being delayed by Johnson for more than nine months so it would not harm his chances in the 2019 general election, defined Russian influence over UK politics as “the new normal” – at least while Tories like Johnson are in charge.

It said successive Conservative governments have welcomed Russian oligarchs “with open arms”, giving them access to political figures “at the highest levels” – and made absolutely no attempt to investigate Russian interference in referendums and elections; in fact, the Tories “actively avoided” doing so.

This has led, the report states, to the growth of an industry of “enablers” who are “de facto agents of the Russian state”. The report does not explicitly state that these enablers include Conservative government politicians, but its assertion that Russia had access to “the highest levels” of political figures certainly suggests that this is the case.

Johnson himself was considered a security risk by the UK’s national security services while he was Foreign Secretary – and with good reason.

Remember the time he went to a party to meet a former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev, days after attending a Nato summit on Russia?

Who knows what secrets may have emerged from this tactless and indiscreet fool’s flapping gums?

That’s just one incident that is known to us. How many more have there been?

How about this?

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has definitely taken donations from people linked to Russia’s President Putin – and provided private meetings with the last three UK prime ministers in return.

The money totalling £1.7 million came from Vladimir Chernukhin via his wife Lubov, according to the so-called FinCEN files – leaked “suspicious activity reports” by banks.

And a lot of information came out when Johnson’s government dragged its heels about imposing sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war:

Public opinion is that the Tories have been slow to act because they have taken a fortune in donations from Russians – and they want to know what these UK politicians were asked to do in return for that – as they understand it – dirty money.

Rather than respond to that question, the government seems to have chosen to leave it hanging in the air – trying to divert attention to what it is doing now:

Apparently a minister (was it Hinds?) said that Unexplained Wealth Orders were introduced years ago to allow the government to confiscate assets from people suspected of wrongdoing – and it is widely believed that much of the Russian cash flowing around the UK – and British politics – is ill-gotten. But this just provoked another hard question – and embarrassing answer:

So, Unexplained Wealth Orders have been an unqualified failure – were they mentioned merely to provide an appearance of activity when none has taken place?

Meanwhile:

It was Boris Johnson’s old friend Lubov Chernukhin. She donated £13,750 in October and £66,500 in December, just months before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. In total she has handed £2 million to the Tories.

And what do you think of this?

The analysis – which includes many legitimate companies – suggests that thousands of firms listed on the UK’s business register are controlled by Russian nationals who live in the country, with some linked to Putin’s allies.

The final example of Russian influence in the UK, that I’ll include in this article, is something I heard on Radio 4’s Today programme on March 3:

The presenter – I think it was Evan Davis – said it had been suggested that properties like Sutton Place could be seized and used to house displaced Ukrainians. He expressed deep scepticism that the Tory government would ever have the courage to make such a move.

The Tories have only just announced that they’re postponing publication of any revelations of how Evgeny Lebedev – son of the former Russian spy Alexander who Boris Johnson was reported to have met (above) – was made a UK Lord despite deep reservations by the security services. Because the revelations will be damning and they don’t want to mess up their chances in the local elections?

And yet those Tory stooges at BBC News want you to think APPGs, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are the security risk.

UK is heading into recession – probably – as your savings run down

Consumer confidence has fallen off a cliff: will spending do the same – and, if so, will the UK economy go into reverse at the worst possible moment?

Be careful with those savings you racked up during the Covid-19 lockdowns, because you’re going to need them to ride out the cost of living crisis!

That’s the message, as far as This Writer can tell, from economist Simon Wren-Lewis on his Mainly Macro blog – and it’s as close to a prediction that the UK is going into recession as you’re likely to see.

Most economic forecasters aren’t saying it because they’re afraid to, it seems.

We know we’re looking at the biggest fall in living standards since records began in 1956-7, because of Brexit-fuelled increases in the cost of goods (including food), rising energy bills and the largest number of tax rises to be inflicted on a UK population in around 40 years.

You will be expected to use your savings to cushion this blow.

That’s fine – as long as you can be sure that the cost-of-living crisis will be only a short-term shock. But there’s no evidence that this is the case; the effects of Brexit are expected to last for decades, we’re being told to brace for another energy bill shock in October, and the Tories have absolutely no intention of reducing taxes – they want to squeeze you until your pips squeak.

With these expectations in mind, consumer confidence is flatlining:

“The GfK Consumer Confidence Index fell for the fourth month in a row to -31 from -26 in February, its lowest since November 2020, deep in the coronavirus pandemic. Readings of -30 and below have presaged recession on four out of five occasions since the survey started in 1974.” Since then the March data is available, and it’s at -38!

That’s the weakest consumer confidence since the 2008 financial crisis, and weaker than at any time during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So it seems likely that spending will tail off as the year progresses, people see how the cost-of-living shocks affect their savings, and improvements in their financial position fail to appear.

As spending tails off, the economy will falter. And the Tory government has already told us it does not have any plan to stimulate growth with an injection of public cash.

So, even if you have a well-stuffed savings account now, expect those funds to run low by the end of the year, while bills and taxes remain high. What are you going to do then?

Source: mainly macro: Is the UK heading for a recession?

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US-UK deal hopes dashed because Brexit has killed Britain as an international trader

Out on a limb: Boris Johnson was notably ignored by Joe Biden at the start of a recent Nato defence summit and it seems Biden will ignore him on trade too.

Boris Johnson’s blatherings about Brexit can’t change the fact that the United States couldn’t care less about doing a free trade deal with the UK.

US President Joe Biden is far more interested in trading with the European Union – the very organisation Johnson said we would be better-off without.

Oh yes, the States cut their high tariffs on UK steel and aluminium – but that only indicates that we produce higher-quality steel than they do, and they want to buy it on the cheap.

In all other regards, Biden has adopted a protectionist approach that is anathema to Boris Johnson’s globalist government.

Simply put: Biden wants to build up the United States as an industrial nation, independent of other advanced economies like China, thereby creating high-quality jobs for American citizens.

Johnson, on the other hand, wants to sell everything in the UK to foreign concerns, so he and his Tory cronies can make a quick profit that they can bank in a tax haven. He couldn’t care less about the well-being of UK citizens.

As Dr Peter Holmes, a fellow at the University of Sussex’s UK Trade Policy Observatory, told the Express, “Britain is out on a limb.”

He said Biden agrees with the EU that governments should not subsidise industry – but Johnson’s government believes the exact opposite because it wants to sweeten our assets as prizes for foreign investors.

Look at the £7.1 billion of public money the government gave to the UK’s rail industry, and then look at the prices of tickets on trains that are mainly owned by foreign governments.

And Biden does not subscribe to the UK’s plan to cut carbon emissions; he’s far more in tune with the EU on that, too.

He would be more likely to consider a free trade agreement if the National Health Service was opened up to profit-making US companies, but he would not be interested in full privatisation of the NHS, in trade terms, according to Dr Holmes.

He might also be interested if the UK lowered its food safety standards (remember the fuss over chlorinated chicken?) – but divergence from EU standards would create more problems with imports and exports in Northern Ireland, which the States would want to avoid.

But the Johnson government insists that it remains keen to talk with the States about a free trade deal.

How pointless. Johnson has painted the entire nation into a corner and is trying to avoid responsibility by pretending everything is going according to plan.

Source: Boris Johnson’s hopes of post-Brexit US-UK trade agreement dashed – ‘Biden not interested’

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Lords upset Tory plan to strip people of UK citizenship without warning

Priti Patel: does she look like a reasonable person to you? No? Then she’s not likely to persuade the Lords to accept her racist plan to change immigration law.

Here’s a sticky mess for the Tories – their hugely controversial plan to strip people of their UK citizenship, without warning, has been overturned in the House of Lords.

According to the BBC,

The Nationality and Borders Bill would allow the UK authorities to strip someone of their British citizenship without warning.

But crossbench peer Baroness D’Souza, who argued this would be “unjust”, submitted an amendment which was passed by a majority of 44 votes.

The bill will now go back to the House of Commons.

Until the two Houses can agree on the final wording of the bill, it cannot pass into law.

This is known as “Parliamentary ping-pong” – a frivolous phrase for a process that can cause a huge amount of harm to a huge number of people.

In practise, the government would normally steamroll over the Lords’ objections – but it seems Priti Patel doesn’t have time for that.

The current Parliamentary session is expected to end within the next few weeks, and all its business will end with it – whether it has been concluded or not.

So Patel will need to work out whether she’ll need to make compromises before the Lords give up.

She is adamant that the change is needed as a matter of national security, but we can all see that this is nonsense – can’t we?

Minority groups say the Bill is an attempt to turn them into second-class citizens, to be dismissed from the UK at the whim of an uncaring (racist?) Tory government.

So the Lords are unlikely to cave in if they have a good chance to kill this legislation, and Patel is not known for giving ground in a reasonable way.

This will be worth watching.

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