Thursday, June 29, 2017

Elitist Tory MPs hate social media because it gives "uppity plebs" like us a political voice

During the 2017 General Election campaign the Tory party thought that they could simply buy social media popularity by pumping £millions into an unprecedented campaign of social media dark ads.

The strategy backfired spectacularly because the Tories just didn't understand that you can't buy social media virality, you have to produce content that people want to share (something I'm apparently quite good at having written the #1. #2, and #7 most viral articles of the entire 2017 General Election campaign).

The Tories got absolutely trounced on social media, and now that they know they can't buy social media success, they're expressing hatred and contempt for it.

The Tory MP for South East Cornwall Sheryll Murray (the one who went viral when she was caught on camera saying that she thinks food bank Britain is a good thing) has been calling for a crackdown on social media free speech, and the Tory MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter has said that he hates social media "because it gives voices to people who don't deserve one".
The idea that some people don't deserve a political voice is exactly the kind of digracefully elitist Tory rubbish that has alienated millions of younger people, and made the Tory party so damned unpopular on social media.

The idea that there is a kind of special establishment elite who deserve to have their political opinions heard, and the rest of us are political untermenschen who deserve no political voice might well appeal to bitter old right-wing authoritarians who want to be dominated and repressed by a powerful political elite, but it's absolutely toxic to anyone with liberal social values or even the slightest amount of self-respect.

The last three decades has seen a dramatic reversal in social mobility, with higher percentages of privately educated elitists in front bench politics and in the mainstream media than back in the 1980s, but social media is levelling the playing field a little by allowing state educated people from ordinary backgrounds (like me) the opportunity to express our political opinions.

The Tories hate the freedom of political ideas that social media and the Internet allow, and that's why they're so damned keen to censor it. 

The idea of uppity plebs having political ideas of their own, rather than rote learning and mindlessly regurgitating the propaganda they're fed by the political establishment makes them sick with fear.

Thankfully the scale of the social media fightback meant that Theresa May threw away her parliamentary majority in her vanity election, so now she's going to have a hell of a fight on her hands (inside and outside of parliament) if she's going to try to impose self-serving Tory censorship on social media and the Internet.

 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.


The Tories got eviscerated on social media so now they want to censor it

Tory politicians know that social media played a vital role in stopping them from winning the super-majority they were expecting when Theresa May called her vanity election in April 2017, and they're now determined to crack down on it.

One of the keenest supporters of a social media crackdown is the Tory MP for South East Cornwall Sheryll Murray, who wants to see new restrictions on political commentary introduced on social media during elections.

It's hardly surprising that Sheryll wants to see a social media clampdown on freedom of speech after a clip of her provoking outrage at a hustings by saying that she was "really pleased that we have food banks" went absolutely viral in the hours after she said it.
The clip I posted on Facebook was seen 1.5 million times, and I was obviously far from the only person to upload it on social media.

Sheryll knows that in the olden days of carefully managed media presentation of the news most people would never have heard of a Tory hustings gaffe like hers or her appalling attitude towards her critics, but now that ordinary people have a measure of control over what is newsworthy (shareable) her out-of-touch gaffe has been seen by millions, and she's absolutely terrified.

Sheryll doesn't like ordinary people to have the ability to hold elitists like her to account for their words and actions, so she's reacting like all right-wing authoritarians do when challenged, and calling for censorship because she's terrified of people power.
One of the most interesting things about her call for restrictions on social media is the fact that of all of the political parties it was her Conservatives who were the worst offenders, spending £millions to spew their smears and outright lies into people's Facebook feeds, Youtube videos and even their Google search results.

This unprecedented Tory campaign of dark ads was particularly bad because they refused to provide copies of their adverts to the electoral authorities.

It just goes to show what a pack of absolute hypocrites the Tories are that they just spent £millions pushing the most extreme social media smear campaign in UK general election history, but because it failed and people chose to share genuinely viral content rather than Tory smear jobs, they suddenly want impose a clamp down on social media free speech.

The Tories are so terrified that ordinary people were sharing "the wrong content" that they want to censor what we can say and share on social media.

 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.


A list of all the MPs who voted to carry on with wage repression

Over the last few months countless Tory MPs have repeatedly praised emergency service workers. After the Westminster attack; after the Manchester Arena atrocity; after London bridge; and after the inferno at Grenfell tower.

But then when they had the opportunity to end the seven year long campaign of wage repression against public sector workers they voted it down, and then actually cheered themselves for doing it.

Here is the full list of MPs who voted against the opposition amendment which called for an end to the public sector pay cap: 
  • Nigel Adams (Conservative - Selby and Ainsty)
  • Bim Afolami (Conservative - Hitchin and Harpenden)
  • Adam Afriyie (Conservative - Windsor)
  • Peter Aldous (Conservative - Waveney)
  • Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
  • Heidi Allen (Conservative - South Cambridgeshire)
  • Stuart Andrew (Conservative - Pudsey)
  • Edward Argar (Conservative - Charnwood)
  • Victoria Atkins (Conservative - Louth and Horncastle)
  • Richard Bacon (Conservative - South Norfolk)
  • Kemi Badenoch (Conservative - Saffron Walden)
  • Steve Baker (Conservative - Wycombe)
  • Harriett Baldwin (Conservative - West Worcestershire)
  • Stephen Barclay (Conservative - North East Cambridgeshire)
  • John Baron (Conservative - Basildon and Billericay)
  • Guto Bebb (Conservative - Aberconwy)
  • Henry Bellingham (Conservative - North West Norfolk)
  • Richard Benyon (Conservative - Newbury)
  • Paul Beresford (Conservative - Mole Valley)
  • Jake Berry (Conservative - Rossendale and Darwen)
  • Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
  • Crispin Blunt (Conservative - Reigate)
  • Nick Boles (Conservative - Grantham and Stamford)
  • Peter Bone (Conservative - Wellingborough)
  • Peter Bottomley (Conservative - Worthing West)
  • Andrew C Bowie (Conservative - West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)
  • Ben Bradley (Conservative - Mansfield)
  • Karen Bradley (Conservative - Staffordshire Moorlands)
  • Graham Brady (Conservative - Altrincham and Sale West)
  • Jack Brereton (Conservative - Stoke-on-Trent South)
  • Andrew Bridgen (Conservative - North West Leicestershire)
  • Steve Brine (Conservative - Winchester)
  • James Brokenshire (Conservative - Old Bexley and Sidcup)
  • Fiona Bruce (Conservative - Congleton)
  • Robert Buckland (Conservative - South Swindon)
  • Alex Burghart (Conservative - Brentwood and Ongar)
  • Conor Burns (Conservative - Bournemouth West)
  • Alistair Burt (Conservative - North East Bedfordshire)
  • Alun Cairns (Conservative - Vale of Glamorgan)
  • James Cartlidge (Conservative - South Suffolk)
  • William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
  • Maria Caulfield (Conservative - Lewes)
  • Alex Chalk (Conservative - Cheltenham)
  • Rehman Chishti (Conservative - Gillingham and Rainham)
  • Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)
  • Jo Churchill (Conservative - Bury St Edmunds)
  • Colin Clark (Conservative - Gordon)
  • Greg Clark (Conservative - Tunbridge Wells)
  • Kenneth Clarke (Conservative - Rushcliffe)
  • Simon Clarke (Conservative - Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
  • James Cleverly (Conservative - Braintree)
  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative - The Cotswolds)
  • Thérèse Coffey (Conservative - Suffolk Coastal)
  • Damian Collins (Conservative - Folkestone and Hythe)
  • Alberto Costa (Conservative - South Leicestershire)
  • Robert Courts (Conservative - Witney)
  • Geoffrey Cox (Conservative - Torridge and West Devon)
  • Stephen Crabb (Conservative - Preseli Pembrokeshire)
  • Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
  • Chris Davies (Conservative - Brecon and Radnorshire)
  • David T. C. Davies (Conservative - Monmouth)
  • Glyn Davies (Conservative - Montgomeryshire)
  • Mims Davies (Conservative - Eastleigh)
  • Philip Davies (Conservative - Shipley)
  • David Davis (Conservative - Haltemprice and Howden)
  • Caroline Dinenage (Conservative - Gosport)
  • Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative - Huntingdon)
  • Leo Docherty (Conservative - Aldershot)
  • Julia Dockerill (Conservative - Hornchurch and Upminster)
  • Michelle Donelan (Conservative - Chippenham)
  • Nadine Dorries (Conservative - Mid Bedfordshire)
  • Steve Double (Conservative - St Austell and Newquay)
  • Oliver Dowden (Conservative - Hertsmere)
  • Jackie Doyle-Price (Conservative - Thurrock)
  • Richard Drax (Conservative - South Dorset)
  • James Duddridge (Conservative - Rochford and Southend East)
  • David Duguid (Conservative - Banff and Buchan)
  • Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative - Chingford and Woodford Green)
  • Alan Duncan (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
  • Philip Dunne (Conservative - Ludlow)
  • Michael Ellis (Conservative - Northampton North)
  • Tobias Ellwood (Conservative - Bournemouth East)
  • Charlie Elphicke (Conservative - Dover)
  • George Eustice (Conservative - Camborne and Redruth)
  • Nigel Evans (Conservative - Ribble Valley)
  • David Evennett (Conservative - Bexleyheath and Crayford)
  • Michael Fabricant (Conservative - Lichfield)
  • Michael Fallon (Conservative - Sevenoaks)
  • Suella Fernandes (Conservative - Fareham)
  • Mark Field (Conservative - Cities of London and Westminster)
  • The liar Vicky Ford (Conservative - Chelmsford)
  • Kevin Foster (Conservative - Torbay)
  • The disgraced Liam Fox (Conservative - North Somerset)
  • Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
  • Lucy Frazer (Conservative - South East Cambridgeshire)
  • George Freeman (Conservative - Mid Norfolk)
  • Mike Freer (Conservative - Finchley and Golders Green)
  • Marcus Fysh (Conservative - Yeovil)
  • Roger Gale (Conservative - North Thanet)
  • Mark Garnier (Conservative - Wyre Forest)
  • David Gauke (Conservative - South West Hertfordshire)
  • Nusrat Ghani (Conservative - Wealden)
  • Nick Gibb (Conservative - Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)
  • Cheryl Gillan (Conservative - Chesham and Amersham)
  • John Glen (Conservative - Salisbury)
  • Zac Goldsmith (Conservative - Richmond Park)
  • Robert Goodwill (Conservative - Scarborough and Whitby)
  • Michael Gove (Conservative - Surrey Heath)
  • Luke Graham (Conservative - Ochil and South Perthshire)
  • Richard Graham (Conservative - Gloucester)
  • Bill Grant (Conservative - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
  • Helen Grant (Conservative - Maidstone and The Weald)
  • James Gray (Conservative - North Wiltshire)
  • Chris Grayling (Conservative - Epsom and Ewell)
  • Chris Green (Conservative - Bolton West)
  • Damian Green (Conservative - Ashford)
  • Justine Greening (Conservative - Putney)
  • Dominic Grieve (Conservative - Beaconsfield)
  • Sam Gyimah (Conservative - East Surrey)
  • Kirstene Hair (Conservative - Angus)
  • Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
  • Luke Hall (Conservative - Thornbury and Yate)
  • Philip Hammond (Conservative - Runnymede and Weybridge)
  • Stephen Hammond (Conservative - Wimbledon)
  • Matt Hancock (Conservative - West Suffolk)
  • Greg Hands (Conservative - Chelsea and Fulham)
  • Mark Harper (Conservative - Forest of Dean)
  • Richard Harrington (Conservative - Watford)
  • Rebecca Harris (Conservative - Castle Point)
  • Trudy Harrison (Conservative - Copeland)
  • Simon Hart (Conservative - Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
  • John Hayes (Conservative - South Holland and The Deepings)
  • Oliver Heald (Conservative - North East Hertfordshire)
  • James Heappey (Conservative - Wells)
  • Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative - Daventry)
  • Peter Heaton-Jones (Conservative - North Devon)
  • Gordon Henderson (Conservative - Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
  • Nick Herbert (Conservative - Arundel and South Downs)
  • Damian Hinds (Conservative - East Hampshire)
  • Simon Hoare (Conservative - North Dorset)
  • George Hollingbery (Conservative - Meon Valley)
  • Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative - Thirsk and Malton)
  • Philip Hollobone (Conservative - Kettering)
  • Adam Holloway (Conservative - Gravesham)
  • John Howell (Conservative - Henley)
  • Nigel Huddleston (Conservative - Mid Worcestershire)
  • Eddie Hughes (Conservative - Walsall North)
  • Jeremy Hunt (Conservative - South West Surrey)
  • Nick Hurd (Conservative - Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
  • Alister Jack (Conservative - Dumfries and Galloway)
  • Margot James (Conservative - Stourbridge)
  • Sajid Javid (Conservative - Bromsgrove)
  • Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative - North East Hampshire)
  • Bernard Jenkin (Conservative - Harwich and North Essex)
  • Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative - Morley and Outwood)
  • Robert Jenrick (Conservative - Newark)
  • Boris "£350 million" Johnson (Conservative - Uxbridge and South Ruislip)
  • Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
  • Gareth Johnson (Conservative - Dartford)
  • Joseph Johnson (Conservative - Orpington)
  • Andrew Jones (Conservative - Harrogate and Knaresborough)
  • David Jones (Conservative - Clwyd West)
  • Marcus Jones (Conservative - Nuneaton)
  • Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative - Shrewsbury and Atcham)
  • Gillian Keegan (Conservative - Chichester)
  • Seema Kennedy (Conservative - South Ribble)
  • Stephen Kerr (Conservative - Stirling)
  • Julian Knight (Conservative - Solihull)
  • Greg Knight (Conservative - East Yorkshire)
  • Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative - Spelthorne)
  • John Lamont (Conservative - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
  • Mark Lancaster (Conservative - Milton Keynes North)
  • Pauline Latham (Conservative - Mid Derbyshire)
  • Andrea Leadsom (Conservative - South Northamptonshire)
  • Phillip Lee (Conservative - Bracknell)
  • Jeremy Lefroy (Conservative - Stafford)
  • Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
  • Oliver Letwin (Conservative - West Dorset)
  • Andrew Lewer (Conservative - Northampton South)
  • Brandon Lewis (Conservative - Great Yarmouth)
  • Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)
  • Ian Liddell-Grainger (Conservative - Bridgwater and West Somerset)
  • David Lidington (Conservative - Aylesbury)
  • Jack Lopresti (Conservative - Filton and Bradley Stoke)
  • Jonathan Lord (Conservative - Woking)
  • Tim Loughton (Conservative - East Worthing and Shoreham)
  • Craig Mackinlay (Conservative - South Thanet)
  • Rachel Maclean (Conservative - Redditch)
  • Anne Main (Conservative - St Albans)
  • Alan Mak (Conservative - Havant)
  • Kit Malthouse (Conservative - North West Hampshire)
  • Scott Mann (Conservative - North Cornwall)
  • Paul Masterton (Conservative - East Renfrewshire)
  • Theresa May (Conservative - Maidenhead)
  • Paul Maynard (Conservative - Blackpool North and Cleveleys)
  • Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative - Derbyshire Dales)
  • Stephen McPartland (Conservative - Stevenage)
  • Esther McVey (Conservative - Tatton)
  • Mark Menzies (Conservative - Fylde)
  • Johnny Mercer (Conservative - Plymouth, Moor View)
  • Huw Merriman (Conservative - Bexhill and Battle)
  • Stephen Metcalfe (Conservative - South Basildon and East Thurrock)
  • Maria Miller (Conservative - Basingstoke)
  • Amanda Milling (Conservative - Cannock Chase)
  • Nigel Mills (Conservative - Amber Valley)
  • Anne Milton (Conservative - Guildford)
  • Andrew Mitchell (Conservative - Sutton Coldfield)
  • Damien Moore (Conservative - Southport)
  • Penny Mordaunt (Conservative - Portsmouth North)
  • Nicky Morgan (Conservative - Loughborough)
  • Anne Marie Morris (Conservative - Newton Abbot)
  • David Morris (Conservative - Morecambe and Lunesdale)
  • James Morris (Conservative - Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
  • Wendy Morton (Conservative - Aldridge-Brownhills)
  • David Mundell (Conservative - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)
  • Sheryll Murray (Conservative - South East Cornwall)
  • Andrew Murrison (Conservative - South West Wiltshire)
  • Robert Neill (Conservative - Bromley and Chislehurst)
  • Sarah Newton (Conservative - Truro and Falmouth)
  • Caroline Nokes (Conservative - Romsey and Southampton North)
  • Jesse Norman (Conservative - Hereford and South Herefordshire)
  • Neil O'Brien (Conservative - Harborough)
  • Matthew Offord (Conservative - Hendon)
  • Guy Opperman (Conservative - Hexham)
  • Neil Parish (Conservative - Tiverton and Honiton)
  • Priti Patel (Conservative - Witham)
  • Owen Paterson (Conservative - North Shropshire)
  • Mark Pawsey (Conservative - Rugby)
  • Mike Penning (Conservative - Hemel Hempstead)
  • John Penrose (Conservative - Weston-super-Mare)
  • Andrew Percy (Conservative - Brigg and Goole)
  • Claire Perry (Conservative - Devizes)
  • Chris Philp (Conservative - Croydon South)
  • Christopher Pincher (Conservative - Tamworth)
  • Dan Poulter (Conservative - Central Suffolk and North Ipswich)
  • Rebecca Pow (Conservative - Taunton Deane)
  • Victoria Prentis (Conservative - Banbury)
  • Mark Prisk (Conservative - Hertford and Stortford)
  • Mark Pritchard (Conservative - The Wrekin)
  • Tom Pursglove (Conservative - Corby)
  • Jeremy Quin (Conservative - Horsham)
  • Will Quince (Conservative - Colchester)
  • Dominic Raab (Conservative - Esher and Walton)
  • John Redwood (Conservative - Wokingham)
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative - North East Somerset)
  • Laurence Robertson (Conservative - Tewkesbury)
  • Mary Robinson (Conservative - Cheadle)
  • Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
  • Douglas Ross (Conservative - Moray)
  • Lee Rowley (Conservative - North East Derbyshire)
  • Amber Rudd (Conservative - Hastings and Rye)
  • David Rutley (Conservative - Macclesfield)
  • Antoinette Sandbach (Conservative - Eddisbury)
  • Paul Scully (Conservative - Sutton and Cheam)
  • Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
  • Andrew Selous (Conservative - South West Bedfordshire)
  • Grant Shapps (Conservative - Welwyn Hatfield)
  • Alok Sharma (Conservative - Reading West)
  • Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative - Elmet and Rothwell)
  • Keith Simpson (Conservative - Broadland)
  • Chris Skidmore (Conservative - Kingswood)
  • Chloe Smith (Conservative - Norwich North)
  • Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
  • Julian Smith (Conservative - Skipton and Ripon)
  • Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
  • Nicholas Soames (Conservative - Mid Sussex)
  • Anna Soubry (Conservative - Broxtowe)
  • Caroline Spelman (Conservative - Meriden)
  • Mark Spencer (Conservative - Sherwood)
  • Andrew Stephenson (Conservative - Pendle)
  • John Stevenson (Conservative - Carlisle)
  • Bob Stewart (Conservative - Beckenham)
  • Iain Stewart (Conservative - Milton Keynes South)
  • Rory Stewart (Conservative - Penrith and The Border)
  • Gary Streeter (Conservative - South West Devon)
  • Mel Stride (Conservative - Central Devon)
  • Graham Stuart (Conservative - Beverley and Holderness)
  • Julian Sturdy (Conservative - York Outer)
  • Rishi Sunak (Conservative - Richmond (Yorks))
  • Desmond Swayne (Conservative - New Forest West)
  • Hugo Swire (Conservative - East Devon)
  • Robert Syms (Conservative - Poole)
  • Derek Thomas (Conservative - St Ives)
  • Ross Thomson (Conservative - Aberdeen South)
  • Maggie Throup (Conservative - Erewash)
  • Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative - Rochester and Strood)
  • Justin Tomlinson (Conservative - North Swindon)
  • Michael Tomlinson (Conservative - Mid Dorset and North Poole)
  • Craig Tracey (Conservative - North Warwickshire)
  • David Tredinnick (Conservative - Bosworth)
  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative - Berwick-upon-Tweed)
  • Elizabeth Truss (Conservative - South West Norfolk)
  • Tom Tugendhat (Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling)
  • Edward Vaizey (Conservative - Wantage)
  • Shailesh Vara (Conservative - North West Cambridgeshire)
  • Martin Vickers (Conservative - Cleethorpes)
  • Theresa Villiers (Conservative - Chipping Barnet)
  • Charles Walker (Conservative - Broxbourne)
  • Robin Walker (Conservative - Worcester)
  • Ben Wallace (Conservative - Wyre and Preston North)
  • David Warburton (Conservative - Somerton and Frome)
  • Matt Warman (Conservative - Boston and Skegness)
  • Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
  • Helen Whately (Conservative - Faversham and Mid Kent)
  • Craig Whittaker (Conservative - Calder Valley)
  • John Whittingdale (Conservative - Maldon)
  • Bill Wiggin (Conservative - North Herefordshire)
  • Gavin Williamson (Conservative - South Staffordshire)
  • Sarah Wollaston (Conservative - Totnes)
  • Mike Wood (Conservative - Dudley South)
  • Mr William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
  • Jeremy Wright (Conservative - Kenilworth and Southam)
  • Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative - Stratford-on-Avon)
  • Gregory Campbell (Democratic Unionist Party - East Londonderry)
  • Nigel Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast North)
  • Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
  • Paul Girvan (Democratic Unionist Party - South Antrim)
  • Ian Paisley (Democratic Unionist Party - North Antrim)
  • Emma Little Pengelly (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast South)
  • Gavin Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast East)
  • Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
  • David Simpson (Democratic Unionist Party - Upper Bann)
  • Sammy Wilson (Democratic Unionist Party - East Antrim)
The opposition parties gave all of these Tory and DUP politicians the opportunity to rebel against Theresa May's malicious and economically ruinous austerity agenda and end the repression of public sector wages, but they all refused the chance, and then had the absolute gall to cheer themselves for voting to continue impoverishing our emergency service workers.

So from now on if you ever hear any of these politicians talking about how much they value our emergency service workers, you know for sure that they don't actually care at all, and that they're just lying through their teeth to convince intensely gullible people into supporting their malicious hard-right coalition of chaos.

 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.


The Tories just cheered themselves for slashing the wages of our brave emergency service workers

On June 28th 2017 the Tory party benches at the House of Commons celebrated after the Tory MPs teamed up with their newly-bribed DUP enablers to defeat an opposition move to end the public sector pay freeze.

Over the last few weeks the Tories repeatedly praised the emergency services: After the Manchester Arena bombing; after the London Bridge attack; and after the inferno at Grenfell tower.

And it's only days since the Tories found £1.5 billion in public money to end austerity in Northern Ireland as a bribe to ensure DUP support for continued austerity in England, Wales, and Scotland.

But when it came to putting their money where their mouth is and stopping the real terms cuts to emergency service workers' pay, the Tories are suddenly skinflint bastards again.

Anyone who knows a bit of rudimentary macroeconomics will understand how counterproductive it is to repress the wages of ordinary people with below inflation pay rises, whilst simultaneously distributing tens of billions in handouts to corporations and the mega-rich.

The reason that the Tory policy of crushing the wages of ordinary people in order to fund handouts for the tiny mega-rich minority is such a bad move is that ordinary people tend to spend the majority of any extra earnings in the economy, which creates economic demand, while the mega-rich are much more likely to either save any extra-income, or even extract it out of the UK economy altogether via dodgy offshore tax-dodger investments, which actually reduces demand (see my article on the Marginal Propensity to Consume).

It also hardly takes an economics genius to understand that repression of public sector wages for seven years has a downwards effect on private sector pay too, which is one of the main reasons that the UK has been suffering the joint worst wage slump in the developed world.

Continuing this economically destructive agenda of crushing the wages of our police, fire fighters, NHS staff and service personnel is no reason to cheer, but that's exactly what Tory MPs did when the result of the vote was announced.
The Tories have spent the last seven years repressing the incomes of our fantastic emergency service workers and hampering their abilities to to their jobs with savage budget cuts and facility closures, and when given the opportunity to stop this dreadful agenda, the Tories decided to give them another kicking, then cheer themselves for doing it.

It's absolutely sickening that 13.6 million people voted for this malicious, two-faced, and economically destructive Tory mob to continue wrecking our public services and imposing brutal real terms cuts on the wages of people who run towards danger to help others, rather than obeying the natural instinct to run away from it.

It's impossible to understand how Tory voters don't feel a deep sense of shame at seeing the Tories they voted into office continue their seven year long campaign of wage repression against the very same people they've repeatedly praised as heroes over the last few weeks.

It's only days since the Tories found £1.5 billion in public money to bribe the DUP into supporting their malicious government, so we now have absolute proof that the Tories can find the money to end austerity measures if they want to.

But ending austerity in Northern Ireland was a price they were willing to pay for their own political self-interest, and ending austerity for emergency service workers is a price they're unwilling to pay because they see no personal benefit in it for themselves.

Either Tory voters must be feeling a profound sense of shame and regret at enabling this disgusting self-serving Tory hypocrisy, or they don't because they actually agree with the ideologically driven Tory agenda of crushing the wages of our brave emergency service workers while they lavish ever more lucrative handouts on corporations and the mega-rich.

Let's hope that this latest display of outrageous Tory malice is enough to make a lot of people regret their decision to vote Tory, and swear not to make the same mistake again.

 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.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

John Redwood's Twitter meltdown

John Redwood is a hard-right Tory who hates the EU with a burning ideological passion, and who has been suggesting that the UK should turn itself into a low-wage, low-regulation, low-skill corporate tax haven for years.

On the morning of June 28th 2017 he posted a series of Tweets that demonstrated just how ideologically deranged the hard-right Eurosceptic faction of the Tory party has become.
Redwood started off by posting a link to his own blog in which he tried to argue the reality-reversing nonsense that it's the EU that is not ready to negotiate, rather than the absolutely shambolic situation Theresa May and the three Brexiteers have cobbled together.

The blog post was full of errors, misrepresentations, omissions and bizarre conflations of different issues, and the comments beneath were a foaming pool of frothing hard-right anti-EU diatribes (which is exactly what you'd expect from the kind of people who follow John Redwood's blog).

His next Tweet is actually true, but not for the reason he's claiming. The EU are not unready to discuss the future UK-EU relationship, they're unwilling to until three primary issues are settled (citizens' rights, the Irish border, and the separation agreement).

Theresa May's decision to completely ignore the EU's opening offer on citizens' rights, and instead launch an absolute insult of a lowball offer is a demonstration that the Tories are determined to stall the the first round of negotiations for as long as possible by playing silly beggars.

The EU will not negotiate the future trade agreement until the three primary issues are sorted. The longer the Tories spend stalling over stuff like citizens' rights, the less time there will be for the trade talks.
This is just diplomatic baby talk. In any negotiation both sides have demands. The important issue is not the number of demands that are being made by either side, it's what legitimacy these demands actually have.

The EU negotiating position has been agreed by all 27 of the remaining EU states and democratically approved through a vote at the European Parliament. The UK negotiating position has been crudely cobbled together by the hard-right Eurosceptic faction of the Tory party and has been democratically approved by nobody.

The hard-right Eurosceptic faction of the Tory party have no democratic mandate to define the UK negotiating position on Brexit, but they see it as their God-given right, and they insist on describing anyone who dares question their mandate to negotiate on behalf of the entire United Kingdom in the language of treason (consider Andrea Leadsom's Stalinist claim that the mainstream media are unpatriotic for simply asking questions about the Tory negotiating position).
There is an obvious legal basis for the EU to request a financial settlement to cover the cost of ongoing commitments. Take the issue of EU parliamentary pensions paid to British former members of the EU Parliament, and pensions paid to formed British diplomats and technocrats in Brussels. Do the EU have an obligation to cover the entire cost of these pensions, or should the UK make a contribution?

Another cost is the removal of the prestigious EU agencies that are based in London (the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Agency). What Redwood is trying to argue is that the UK took the decision to leave the EU, but it's the EU's responsibility to pay all of the costs of that decision!

Additionally talk of "no legal basis" is utterly bizarre coming from someone who sees the result of an advisory referendum as an excuse to tear up Britain's international obligations.

What Redwood is arguing for is a totally lawless attitude to international contracts and obligations. A total free-for-all where people and organisations can simply walk away from any contract or agreement, which is completely at odds with Conservative economic theory that relies heavily on contract law and the sanctity of contracts.

Redwood's hatred of the EU is so rabid that he's willing to abandon one of the fundamental pillars of the conservative ideology in order to achieve Brexit.
Talk of resorting to WTO rules and imposing import tariffs to damage the EU trade in cars and agricultural produce is the kind of nuclear Brexit nonsense that the UK public rejected in Theresa May's vanity election.

There is no public appetite for an economy-wrecking, job-destroying, global recession-triggering nuclear Brexit, but John Redwood and the hard-right faction of the Tory party are absolutely fixated on achieving this outcome regardless of what the public want.

What Redwood is describing is the threat of an extreme hard Brexit with no trade deal in place followed up by a protectionist trade war in which either side imposes import taxes on the other in order to damage the other economy as much as possible.

Aside from this threat being another abandonment of a central pillar of conservative ideology (free trade) it should be obvious that as the smaller and less diversified party the UK would be in a much weaker position in a protectionist trade war than the EU.

If the Tory government decided to make a "no deal" situation even worse by using import tariffs to deliberately attack the EU economy, then the obvious EU response would be to impose tit-for-tat import taxes on UK produce.

44% of all UK exported goods and services go to the EU. 

9% of EU exported goods and services go to the UK.

How could anyone in their right mind believe that Britain could win a protectionist trade war with the EU?
This bit is just bizarre. Redwood knows that we've all seen the Tory party spend an entire year stalling Brexit as they tried to cobble together some kind of plan. 

He knows we all saw Theresa May stall the Brexit negotiations for another two months with her vanity election

He knows we all saw Theresa May throw a spanner into the citizens' rights negotiations in order to stall the onset of the trade talks for as long as possible.

He knows that we can all see that the Tories are catastrophically unprepared for the magnitude of the diplomatic task they are facing and stalling for as long as possible, but he thinks we're gullible enough to believe the Orwellian reality-reverasal that it's the EU who are the chaotic unprepared charlatans who are posturing and delaying everything for as long as they can get away with!


In a delusional outburst of Tweets John Redwood has demonstrated that he's so riddled with hatred of the EU that he's willing to sling two pillars of right-wing ideology on the Brexit bonfire (the sanctity of contracts & free trade), and that he's determined to distort reality to such an extent that in his mind the EU are the chaotic, endlessly stalling chancers with no proper mandate, and the Tory party are the well prepared negotiators with a proper mandate!

Under any other circumstance Redwood's delusions would be laughable, but the terrifying reality is that Theresa May has put the hard-right Eurosceptic faction of the Tory party in charge of the Brexit negotiations in the full knowledge that most of them, like Redwood, actually want the negotiations to fail, and that some of them even want the UK to enter an economically ruinous protectionist trade war with the EU.

I've been warning since before the EU referendum that the hard-right fringe of the Tory party are the last people you'd ever want negotiating on your behalf, but now you don't have to believe me, you just have to look at John Redwood's Tweets and have a think about the absolute lunacy of what he's saying.

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