Thursday, May 25, 2017

Just look at biased state of the UK press


We have all seen the evidence of our eyes that the mainstream media is horrifically biased against the Labour Party and in favour of the Tories, but it's useful to have some evidence to back up our suspicions.

Academics at Loughborough University have produced a report into general election campaign bias in the UK press and the results are astoundingly unbalanced.

Read the full report here

Looking at the graph in the header image anyone would have thought that the Tory party were the ones with a carefully costed manifesto full of popular policies and a leader who can draw vast crowds; and the Labour Party were the ones with the absolute shambles of an uncosted manifesto; a near universally hated policy of asset stripping people who need social care, a history of recklessly gutting the armed forces, police, emergency services, hospitals and border agency; an indefensible record in government, and an increasingly unstable and erratic leader who keeps spewing bonkers conspiracy theories under the pressure of an opportunistic and self-serving election campaign that they decided to trigger themself!

But no!

The press have actually found the time to heap praise on the Tories in between their relentless barrage of attacks on the Labour Party!

The Tories are in meltdown. Their climbdown on their hated Dementia Tax is unprecedented in UK election history; their decision to use the Manchester Arena atrocity to bury their  shockingly complacent blunder over school breakfast funding is despicable even by their own depraved standards; Theresa May's woeful tenure at the Home Office has come back into the spotlight in the most gruesome manner imaginable; and May is clearly buckling under the pressure.

Yet somehow the UK press are still relentlessly fighting to ensure she wins the election.

Under normal circumstances such severe systemic bias would be unacceptable enough, but in light of the ongoing Tory implosion it's absolutely sickening.

Don't believe the mainstream media lies. 


Read the (actually really good) Labour Party manifesto for yourself and make up your own mind.

Don't be a political sleepwalker.


Think for yourselves.

Don't just do as you're told by the sociopathic billionaire propaganda merchants who own almost all of the UK press.


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She accused the police of "scaremongering" when they tried to warn her


As Home Secretary Theresa May oversaw the longest and deepest cuts to per capita policing levels in British history. She slashed the number of police by 19,000 whilst allowing the biggest immigration surge in British history.

This combination of factors means there are now fewer bobbies per head of population than at any time since 1974.

This reckless assault on the police service was inspired by the Tory ideological obsession with hard-right austerity dogma: The demented economic delusion that the economy can be saved simply by cutting, and cutting and cutting.

Stuff like infrastructure investment, productivity, economic demand, social welfare, flood defences, art and culture, and perhaps most recklessly of all, public safety were all thrown on the Tory ideological austerity bonfire.

Of course the police chiefs complained and warned that they were getting stretched beyond their capacities, but Theresa May fobbed them off. In one sneering and condescending speech she accused police chiefs of "scaremongering" over her ideologically inspired cuts to the public safety budget.

Just look at the frightful leer she does at the end of this clip:
Now that we've got the army deployed on the streets because the pared-back police apparently can't cope with the security situation, I'm pretty sure that there are few who would be willing to argue that this speech has aged well.

One police delegate at that conference said that "Officers feel that they are under sustained attack from the media, the government and additionally the Home Office. At times, our only allies are the public that we serve" [source]

Slashing the police budget, sacking 19,000 police officers, repressing their wages, privatising the forensic science service, publicly lambasting the police chiefs, demoralising the police.rank and file. It was all necessary in Theresa May's warped austerity dogma-addled mind.
If the first video isn't bad enough, just take a look at this one where she dismisses the threat of terrorism as secondary to the Tory ideological austerity agenda by debt-fearmongering about Portugal.
She accused the police of scaremongering in the first video over their legitimate concerns, and in the second video she can be seen blatantly austerity-scaremongering to justify her ideologically driven cuts.

It's funny how legitimate concerns are "scaremongering" but delusional austerity fearmongering to justify public safety cuts is perfectly fine in the backwards world of Tory propaganda isn't it?

She was warned and warned and warned


Theresa May was warned time and again that her austerity cuts to the police were endangering public safety but she simply wouldn't listen.

The now-departed Chief of the Metropolitan Police Bernard Hogan-Howe repeatedly warned her. In 2015 he said that slashing 8,000 police in London would put the capital at risk. Shortly before retiring in February 2017 he argued once again that the Tory police cuts were endangering the public.

Now that we have the army deployed in the streets we should all understand that Theresa May's obsession with economically illiterate austerity has severely hampered our ability to protect public safety.

She was warned time and again of the danger, but she ignored it, and even accused the public safety experts of "scaremongering" for daring to raise their concerns.

The really sad thing is that millions of political sleepwalkers will ignore the evidence and glowingly approve of troops yomping the union flag around the streets and Theresa May and Amber Rudd strutting around importantly in the wake of the Manchester Arena atrocity pretending to be the ones who are protecting us, rather than the ones who trashed the public safety budget out of their deranged obsession with their economically illiterate hard-right austerity dogma.




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Suspended election campaign: A fantastic opportunity to bury bad news


So it turns out one of the only actual figures in the farcical Tory manifesto (£60 million for school breakfasts) was ridiculous plucked-out-of-the-air nonsense.

Less than 7p a meal!

The figure the Tories plucked out of the air to cover this policy worked out at just 6.8 pence per pupil per day to provide them with a proper nourishing breakfast!

Now, after getting rumbled, the Tories have admitted that it'll cost way more than that, and that they don't actually know how much!

Another manifesto climbdown

So after the Dementia Tax debacle, this is the second Tory manifesto policy to descend into farce within a week!

The widely respected election specialist David Butler said that he's never seen anything as shambolic as the Tory Dementia tax climbdown in the 20 General Election campaigns he's covered, and now we have another massive Tory blunder to add into the mix.

Economic competence

The Labour Manifesto is carefully costed. The Tory manifesto is an unprecedented farce.

Additionally - since 2010 the Tories have created more new public debt than every single Labour government in history combined!

Yet somehow, still, millions of people still allow themselves to be bamboozled by the mainstream press into believing the ridiculously backwards notion that the Tories are the more economically competent ones!

A good time to bury bad news

The fact that the Tories decided to sneak this humiliating news out under the cloud of a national tragedy is yet another revolting new low for the Tory party.

They knew the other parties had agreed to suspend campaigning because of the atrocity in Manchester, so they decided to sneak out their latest blunder when they knew opposition parties had voluntarily gagged themselves, so they'd be subjected to very limited scrutiny.

Remember that Labour Party adviser who was (rightly) lambasted for describing the September 11th attacks as "a good day to bury bad news"? Well this sneaky Tory behaviour is infinitely worse.

This isn't just an adviser suggesting the idea of using an atrocity to bury bad news, it's the Tory party actually following through with a "bury bad news" plot in order to try to salvage their foundering election campaign.

The Tories knew perfectly well that political campaigning had been suspended, so they blatantly took advantage of the terrorist atrocity to sneak their bad news out when they knew the opposition parties wouldn't hold them to account for it.

Conclusion

This farcical made-up costing is yet another ridiculous Tory blunder, but the bigger story is their decision to sneak out their admission when they knew the opposition parties wouldn't hold them to account for it because campaigning has been suspended.

Using a national tragedy as a smokescreen to hide from political scrutiny is utterly despicable, even by Tory standards.

The opposition parties won't resume national campaigning until tomorrow, so they can't hold the Tories to account for this ridiculous blunder or their despicable effort to use the tragedy in Manchester as a smokescreen to hide it behind, so it's up to the public to spread awareness amongst ourselves.

Share this article, share other articles on the blunder, write your own Facebook posts and Tweets about it.

The mainstream media won't hold them to account for trying to hide their blunder in this despicable way, so it's up to us.


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The Americans are humiliating us but Rudderless and Mayhem do nothing


The United States repeatedly leaking the intelligence that the British shared with them is yet another example of America spitting in Britain's face, and the Tory government doing nothing but impotently stamp their little feet in response.

The theory is that the UK has an intelligence sharing agreement with the United States so that the two nations can cooperate against terrorist threats and the like. In reality it seems that the agreement exists so that US spooks can leak classified British intelligence details to their chums in the United States press.

After the name of the Manchester bomber was leaked by the Americans, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd called the leak "irritating" and said that it "should not happen again"

Within hours of her saying it shouldn't happen again, US spooks leaked a load of pictures of the blast scene to the New York Times.

There's no other way of seeing this than as a huge humiliation for Amber Rudd. The Americans spat in her face by leaking the name of the killer, she stamped her little foot and said it should not happen again, then they launched an even bigger gob at her by leaking actual pictures from the blast site, laughing at her impotence as they did it.

Just imagine if the boot was on the other foot and it was British spooks repeatedly leaking highly sensitive evidence from an ongoing US investigation into a terrorist atrocity. 

Do you think Trump would put on a petulant little display of foot stamping (like Rudderless and Mayhem) or do you think he'd be furiously lambasting the UK to his Twitter followers, demanding that the source(s) of the leak be identified and punished, and plotting retribution against the UK?

Of course he would.


These intelligence leaks are far from the first time the Americans have humiliated the UK.

The huge $110 billion US arms deal with Saudi Arabia just a month after Theresa May went on a sandal-licking mission over there to win more arms contracts was an obvious humiliation.

The Tory business model is fundamentally reliant on hawking weapons to war criminals, and for years the UK has been Saudi Arabia's main arms dealer. Trump's just blasted us out of the water by signing this huge arms deal with the UK's main customer just a month after May was over there bowing and scraping to the sick Islamist tyrants.

Before that it was Donald Trump's chief financial adviser explaining that Brexit is "a God-given opportunity" for Britain's financial rivals to steal our trade.

Even after hearing the Americans talking about us like that, Theresa May decided to humiliate Britain by scuttling over to America to hold The Donald's hand, shower him in praise, and beg him for a trade deal.

Trump may be a bigoted, narcissistic and profoundly-ignorant bully, but he's certainly has the cunning to spot weakness and take advantage of it, and Theresa May headlong rush over to America to beg him for a trade deal was about as pathetic a display of weakness and subservience as it's possible to imagine.

Yes of course the situation we're in is not entirely her fault because she inherited the impossibly weak diplomatic position David Cameron left her (needing to beg other countries for trade deals because we just sent a great big "fuck you" to 8 of our top 10 trading partners), but her displays of cowering decrepitude have made the situation a whole lot worse.

Having put ourselves in such a desperately weak diplomatic position by voting to tear up relations with our neighbours, the UK was never going to be getting an easy ride from the Trump administration, but Theresa May's craven subservience has clearly exacerbated the situation.

You can either be in a weak position and stand defiant, or you can be in a weak position and go around licking boots and begging for favours.

The outcome from putting ourselves in such a weak diplomatic position is almost certainly going to be extreme economic chaos and the national humiliation of having actually inflicted this mess upon ourselves, but at least we could have gone down with a bit of self-respect with a stronger and less craven leader.

Theresa May's weakness and subservience has led to the additional humiliation of our so called special friend laughing at us and repeatedly spitting on us on our way down.



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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Was the Manchester Atrocity a "false flag" attack


I've seen rather a few people spreading the idea that the Manchester Arena atrocity was a "false flag" attack orchestrated by the British state in order to influence the outcome of the General Election in favour of the Tory party.

In this article I'm going to explain why I think that conspiracy theorising about "false flags" is deeply unhelpful, and look at the real political causes and the potential ramifications of such a serious terrorist attack at one of the pivotal moments of the 2017 election campaign.

Background

The five days before Salman Abedi killed at least 32 innocent people by blowing himself up at the Manchester Arena were nothing short of a political meltdown for the ruling Tory party.

Their near-universally hated policy of asset stripping people who need social care in order to fund even more corporate tax breaks was going down like a shit pancake; their poll lead in England was evaporating, their poll lead in Wales completely reversed in a matter of days, their totally uncosted "magic money tree" manifesto was being ridiculed by all, Theresa May was clearly buckling badly under the pressure of some totally unexpected light criticism from regular Tory cheerleaders like Laura Kuenssberg and the Daily Mail.


A suspension of election campaigning couldn't possibly have come at a better time for the Tory party, which has led some to speculate that the bombing was a "false flag" attack.
  Tory security cuts

It's undeniable that the Tory government have spent the last seven years putting their bonkers "let's cut our way to growth" ideological austerity agenda above the security needs of the nation.

They've imposed extreme cuts on the armed forces, the police, the emergency services, hospitals and the UK border agency.

Anyone who tries to deny these cuts have happened, or that such severe cuts could be made without consequences is lying through their teeth. 

The Tories clearly put their economically illiterate cost-cutting drive way above the safety of the British public.

False flag?

There's a huge difference between noting that the Tories spent seven years endangering the British public cutting our security services and defunding our emergency services, and saying that they plotted this attack on purpose.

Just imagine the ramifications if they got caught out doing such a plot. 

All it would take is one whistleblower or one bit of evidence, and they'd face universal condemnation.

Yes their poll lead had more than halved since the beginning of the election campaign, but would they really risk deliberately planning a terrorist attack against their own country to cling onto power?


That's an incredibly strong position to take with no evidence to back it up.
  Discrediting others

In my view anyone making evidence-free claims that this was a Tory "false flag" attack against our own country is guilty of contaminating the political debate with extreme accusations.

By doing this they don't just discredit themselves, they discredit by false association all the reasonable people who oppose this horrifically malicious and incompetent Tory government.


The existence of these evidence-free smears can be picked up by pro-establishment lapdogs and spun into damaging "look at the unthinkable lies that lefties are spreading" narratives. 

Only a tiny percentage of people might make these evidence-free claims, but they can be turned into ammunition by the hard-right and bounced back against all anti-Tories in general.

Do we let the terrorists win?


There is no evidence whatever to support the "false flag" accusations, but there's no doubt whatever that this attack has been highly beneficial to the Tory party.

If this attack has succeeded in halting the Labour surge, and Theresa May walks into Downing Street with a whopping majority, it'll be a huge victory for terrorism. 


The terrorist will not only have succeeded in killing and maiming dozens, and traumatising thousands, he'll have fundamentally altered the UK political landscape in favour of a very pro-Saudi, pro-Wahabi political party.

Labour have announced a policy of ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia until they stop committing war crimes in Yemen. 


Jeremy Corbyn has talked openly and often about clamping down on the countries that fund ISIS/Daesh. The leaked Clinton emails revealed that the west have known that ISIS is being funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There are at least 2,000 odd Saudis actually fighting for ISIS/Daesh and other Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq.

A derailed Labour surge and a thumping victory for Theresa May would certainly be music to the ears of the Islamist tyrants in Riyadh.


Conclusion


Of course the timing of this atrocity was highly beneficial to a Tory party on the ropes over their disgusting policies, their slipping poll lead, their uncosted manifesto, and their increasingly erratic leader, but I'm not going to entertain any evidence-free conspiracy theories that they plotted this outrageous attack to serve their own interests.

However the evidence-free assertions that the Tories plotted this attack themselves are damaging to the fabric of British political debate. The Tories might well be an incredibly callous party, but in my view they're also far too incompetent to pull something like that off without leaving incriminating evidence all over the place.

The important issues at the moment are that they deserve intense scrutiny about the extreme cuts they imposed on the armed forces, police, emergency services, hospitals and border agency. Also serious questions need to be asked about the emerging accusations that the bomber had been shopped to the police several times for having links to Islamist extremism.

Perhaps the most important issue to consider is the fact that if this atrocity has succeeded in derailing the Labour Party surge, and Theresa May walks into Downing Street with a huge majority, it'll be one of the biggest victories for Islamist terrorism to date.


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Check out this brilliant Twitter thread


This is a brilliant Twitter thread from a middle East expert called David Wearing. I'm reproducing it here for the benefit of people who don't do Twitter.

Follow him on Twitter here if you do: David Wearing


Remember what you've read here, and remember to follow David Wearing if you found what he said interesting.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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The sick new Tory propaganda tactic


Synthetic outrage is playing an ever more prominent role in right-wing political propaganda, and the latest displays of astoundingly hypocritical right-wing synthetic outrage in the wake of the Manchester Arena atrocity are the most sickening yet.

The tactic is to shout down anyone who tries to hold the Tory government to account with accusations that they're "exploiting dead children" by raising legitimate concerns about whether better government policy could have prevented the attack.

The worst case example





Loads of Tory sympathisers have been trying to shut down political debate by accusing anyone who holds the Tories to account of "political point scoring" but the sickest example of this revolting synthetic outrage tactic I've come across is this one (see image).

It happened after I posted an article detailing the seven years of severe cuts that the Tories have imposed on the armed forces, police, emergency services, hospitals and border force. You can read the article here and observe that it does not mention "dead children" (or any of the victims of the attack) one single time.
I even posted the article on Facebook with a status saying "Right-wing Tory sympathisers will inevitably react with synthetic outrage to this article because they believe that the Tories should never be held to account for their actions"


But one popped along anyway to accuse me of "exploiting dead kids" simply by providing some pertinent facts about the negligent Tory attitude towards public safety and security.

The brazen hypocrisy of this accusation is clear for all to see.

I didn't even mention dead kids at all. He did.

If anyone is exploiting dead kids for political purposes it's him for the way he invoked dead children to say "DON'T DARE QUESTION THE GOVERNMENT".

To use the disturbing thought of recently killed children for political purposes like this, and actually accuse the other person of exactly that behaviour is a truly sick display of hypocritical moral high-horsing.

remember: This Tory apologist was far from alone. There have been countless others using this synthetic outrage tactic to silence criticism of their beloved Tory government today. I just singled him out because his was by far the most sickeningly hypocritical.

So I say this. Don't let sick Tory propagandists use hypocritical displays of synthetic outrage to stop you from holding the Tory government to account.  They're trying to argue that if people die, then it's morally wrong to subject the ruling party in government to any kind of scrutiny.

If you see them doing it, expose them as the sick hypocrites they are.

The Murdoch empire

Instead of holding the Tory government to account over their savage cuts to the security forces, Rupert Murdoch's propaganda minions at The S*n have spent the last few days spreading lies and smears about Jeremy Corbyn so as to assist Theresa May back into power.

The S*n is clearly acting as direct political propaganda for the Tory party, and it's easy to see why.

The Tory manifesto is promising to sling the Leveson enquiry into press corruption in the bin, so that the right-wing press can carry on as if Murdoch's minions had never hacked into the telephone of a dead teenage girl.


We might well wonder where the Tory moral outrage is over what was done to Milly Dowler's family when Murdoch's minions hacked into her phone and made them hope she was still alive.

We might wonder at where the Tory moral outrage is that their beloved leader is promising to let Murdoch off the hook for Milly Dowler in return for total support in his main propaganda sheet.


It doesn't exist, because all of their outrage about dead children is purely synthetic, and turned on and off for political purposes.

These tribal Tory apologists are the kinds of people who would have lapped up the disgusting front page lies The S*n printed about the innocent Liverpool fans at Hillsborough

They're the kind of people who would have sneered at anyone who (rightly) said that the tragedy was caused by police negligence, not by drunken rowdy fans as the right-wing propaganda lies claimed. 

In fact they probably would have used synthetic outrage to accuse the dedicated Hillsborough Justice Campaigners of exploiting the dead football fans to score political points!

That's how depraved they are.


Conclusion

Tory propaganda tactics are sick. They're often developed in order to trigger people's strongest emotional reactions like fear, anger, hatred, repulsion and outrage.

This latest "exploiting dead children" tactic is one of the most revoltingly hypocritical things I've ever come across, because not only does it invoke dead children for the political purpose of stopping people from trying to hold the government to account, it's also astoundingly hypocritical for doing precisely the thing that it accuses their opponents of.

If we ask dare to question seven years of harsh Tory cuts to the armed forces and police, these sick Tory propagandists will strategically lob the agonising thought of the poor dead children in Manchester into the debate in a desperate attempt to shut us up.

That's how sick they are.


The Tories are absolutely desperate and they're going to fight dirty as fuck from now on, so brace yourselves for much more of it. If they'll lob thoughts of recently killed children into the debate in order to defend their beloved party from scrutiny, they'll say or do literally anything won't they?


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They cut our police and military, then say they're keeping us safe when the inevitable attacks happen


The sight of palpably relieved Tories strutting around and making themselves look important in the wake of the Manchester Arena atrocity was sickening, and enraging.

The Tories were on the ropes and bleeding heavily over their utterly depraved and almost universally hated Dementia Tax proposals. Labour had just soared up the polls (especially in Wales) and Theresa May had floundered and sneered her way through an excruciating press conference and an incredibly evasive and dishonest car crash interview with Andrew Neil ...

Then the Manchester Arena atrocity happened, election campaigning was suspended and the Tories spent the day strutting around in front of the cameras and making out that they're the ones keeping us safe, when they're actually the ones who let it happen on their watch.

Here are some indisputable facts:

It's absolutely clear that these ideologically driven Tory cuts to our armed forces, police, border force and emergency services are making Britain less safe.

But then when the inevitable attacks happen (the Westminster attack, the ransomware attack on the NHS and the Manchester Arena atrocity) the Tories love to strut about, look important, and pretend that they're the ones who are keeping us safe, not the ones who let these attacks happen.

It's astounding that so many people allow themselves to be hoodwinked by this deceptive Tory posturing. 



 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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