Posts Tagged ‘Inflation’

Giorgia Meloni – My Opinion

June 8, 2023

Mark Pattie, one of the great commenters here, has asked me what my opinion if of Giorgia Meloni, the president or prime minister of Italy and the leader of the far right Fratelli d’Italia party. I have to say my opinion of her is very mixed. First of all, I think that she’s extremely intelligent, like her French counterpart, Marine le Pen, of the National Rally party. Both of them strike me as being far brighter and better communicators than their mainstream rivals. They are, or claim to be, offering real alternatives that will benefit their nations. All their rivals have to offer is pretty much the same neoliberalism and support for the European Union that many Italians and Frenchmen and women seem to be tired of. I think Macron a few weeks ago was again touting the idea of a common European army. That, if I recall correctly, was one of the ideas dreamed by the French president Jacques Delors over a decade ago. It was part of his European federalist project, which no-one, apart from Delors himself and his cohorts, seemed to have much enthusiasm for. It was vehemently denounced over here by the Brexiteers as an occupation force, which it wouldn’t have been. But I don’t think any nation would willingly surrender its control of its defence forces to any kind of superstate. If Macron was pushing this idea, then it seems to show that he’s run out of ideas and is groping around for anything that might inspire or enthuse the public.

I certainly am not happy about the two parties – Meloni’s Fratelli and Le Pen’s National Rally’s roots in Fascism. That said, Le Pen is a very canny operator. She dropped the Nazi stuff and turned it more centre-right, like the other ‘post-fascist’ party, the Allianza Nazionale that emerged from the Blackshirts of the MSI. And to give the Fratelli due credit, Italy is still a pluralist democracy. She hasn’t outlawed the other parties and there aren’t, it seems, uniformed black shirted storm troopers on the streets beating up Communists, liberals, democrats and foreigners.

Immigration and Improving Conditions in Africa

And I can well appreciate the forces that have pushed her into power. Italy, Spain, France and Greece are very much on the front line regarding the immigrant boats from Africa, and I think the question of how many more migrants Europe can take is a reasonable one. A friend of mine used to be a member of UKIP, and he once told me it wasn’t immigration itself that he had an issue with, it was just that they migrants kept coming. Mass immigration was an issue in Italy before Meloni. The Five Star Party, set up by an Italian comedian, was very anti-immigration. There were also reports that a Black African woman in one of the Italian governments had made a speech calling for the legalisation of polygamy. I’m strongly opposed to this, as I imagine most westerners would be. And she’s very clever at defending her anti-immigration stance. I had a video of her pop up on my YouTube feed a few days speaking in the Italian parliament about four years ago. She was rebutting accusations that she and her party were racists for demanding that Italy withdraw from the UN Migrant Charter by pointing out the number of nations that had already done so, including America and Austria, rhetorically asking if these countries were also racist. She criticised the French by pointing out that they were in no position to call anyone racist, as they sent any migrants heading over the border from Italy back over it to Ventimiglia.

But she’s also well aware that stemming migration means improving conditions in Africa. She called for support to be given to the Tunisian banks. These had crashed, and she afraid that this would result in a fresh wave of migration from north Africa. She also criticised the French for exploiting African nations. Thirty per cent of the uranium for the French nuclear power stations, she claimed, came from Niger, where children were labouring in the mines and 90 per cent of the population had no electricity. She has said that Africa needs to be freed from European exploitation. This is something I’ve only heard people on the left saying over here. I’ve heard no similar sentiments from Johnson, Truss or Sumak, let alone Rees-Mogg.

European Union, the Single Currency and the Dictatorship of the Troika

Regarding her antipathy to the European Union, some of that might come from Italy’s experience joining the single currency and then the effective government of the country by the EU troika on behalf of the banks. One of the speakers I heard at various seminars at Bristol Uni when I was study for my Ph.D. was an Italian theology student. Talking to her one evening at one of the meetings of a medieval studies group, she told us how the single currency had affected her homeland. It had been disastrous. Prices had risen massively to the point where people were extremely angry. So angry that she didn’t feel safe there. And then when the country had been hit with a financial crisis along with Ireland, Spain and Greece, they had had a government imposed on them by France, Germany and one of the other major players and policies dictated to them to pay back the loans. In practice, this means that the money was simply transferred from one German bank to another. Which I think may partly explain her hostility to the EU and international finance. Cut the anti-Semitism, and the great international financiers have caused immense damage to the global economy and working people are still having to pay the price.

Defence of the Family and Gay Rights

I also, as a general issue, don’t have any problem at all with her stance behind the general NatCon values of family, faith, flag. Although this slogan is close to Mussolini’s ‘Family, Faith, Fatherland’. As a general principle, I think the nuclear family needs to be strengthened and properly valued because of the immense damage that is being done to children from fatherless families. But I am well aware that there are single mothers who have done excellent jobs of raising their children, who are a credit to them.

Similarly, if I am honest, I cannot say that I find gay couples with children the ideal family situation. But, I am also well aware that there have been single-sex parents who have also been great at raising their children. And these kids respected them for the great job they’d done caring for them. There have been scandals over in the states where trans couples have been arrested for committing terrible abuse of the children they’d adopted, but there have also been sickening cases over here of straight couples, who have abused and murdered their children. In my view, gay parents are no more prone to abusing children than straights and so, when it comes to providing a home for a child, their sexuality shouldn’t be an object, only their general character.

The surrogacy issue is rather more involved, and to a certain extent here she has a point. She does not want foreign gay couples paying Italian women to carry their child. She has explained this by pointing to Ukraine, where women have been paid by foreigners to be surrogate mothers. The gay couples, who have fathered the child have not picked it up, and so these kids end up in orphanages. She also points to the moral prohibition against the commodification of the human body. People and their body parts are not items to be bought and sold like any other product. When this comes to human life and reproduction, this is especially important. Back in the 1980s Pope John Paul II wrote an entire encyclical about the issue. It was naturally attacked because I think it included the standard Catholic prohibitions on contraception and abortion, both of which I believe should be legal. But the objection to the commodification of the human body has, I believe, the general support of theologians and moral philosophers outside Roman Catholicism, but I think surrogate motherhood has been an exception to this up to now.

It may seem surprising, but Meloni’s stance on banning artificial reproduction for the benefit of gays was actually mainstream forty years ago. Back in the 1980s there were initiatives in Britain to set up sperm banks. The woman running one was interviewed by the left-wing Sunday newspaper, the Observer. She was asked about the issue of gay men providing sperm so that their lesbian friends could conceive. The woman replied no, that was happening with her bank. All her young men had girlfriends. This was, as I said, in the Observer, a liberal newspaper which is also pro-feminist and anti-racist. Meloni’s trying to drag Italy back to this era in respect to gay surrogacy. It’s reactionary, but I wouldn’t like to say that it is more than that. Where I have an issue with her on this is that it should also apply to heterosexual couples. Meloni’s prohibition doesn’t, and so is clearly discriminatory and homophobic.

Supporting Christianity

I’m also religious, and would like to see a revival of Christianity in this country, as well as in other parts of what used to be Christendom. But I want it to be a reasonable, tolerant Christianity, rather than the militant sectarianism I’ve seen from some extremely right-wing Christian evangelists. I think Christianity in America has been harmed by the right-wing televangelists that appeared under Reagan. Some simply preached ‘Prosperity Gospel’, the doctrine that if you accept Christ, you’ll become rich, and quite a few seemed to be interested in enriching themselves. The Rev. Jim Bakker got caught with his hand in the parish poor box, so to speak. He may also have been having an extramarital affair, as were others. He got sent to the slammer. He’s now out, and a few years ago he wrote a very good book attacking Prosperity Gospel as a heresy, and calling for people to accept Christ. It’s tarnished Christianity’s image amongst a section of young people. There are some brilliant Christian preachers, philosophers and theologians out there, who are well worth listening to, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. But you don’t hear so much about them.

Pride in Country Natural

As for pride in one’s country, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with that. Britain, America and the west have done terrible things, but they have also done immense good. America was a racist, apartheid state. But it dismantled those laws under pressure from civil rights leaders like MLK and Martin X. I similarly take issue with the glib anti-racism claiming that Britain is institutionally racist because of the British empire, and that we should therefore feel guilt and shame about being White. One of the other books I really want to review is Nigel Biggar’ Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning. Biggar’s a moral theologian at Oxford, and the book’s a rebuttal of this facile view. It’s been intensely controversial, and his publishing contract was broken at one point. But he does show that in very many cases, British imperialists genuinely acted for what they considered to be the best interests of the subaltern peoples. The first British governor of Egypt, for example, told the colonial secretary that if the best interests of the Egyptian people conflicted with orders from Britain, he would ignore those orders. And when he said ‘Egyptian people’, he meant all the Egyptian people, not just Arabs, but also Copts, Greeks, Armenians and Africans from further south. Even Cecil bloody Rhodes was better than he’s often painted. Yes, he’s a blackguard, but he stood up for the right of the minuscule Black electorate in South Africa to vote when the government was trying to deprive them of it. As for the Benin Bronzes, which many racial activists would like repatriated, they were seized during a military expedition part of whose objectives were to stop the Benin people enslaving and slaughtering the people’s around them in mass human sacrifices. Bacon, the expedition’s intelligence officer, wrote an account of it, including graphic descriptions of the victims they found, in his book City of Blood.

Anti-Semitic Undertones to Rhetoric about International Finance

What gives me profound misgivings about Meloni, however, is when she starts spouting the Nazi nonsense about nationality, faith and the family being under attack by international finance and George Soros. It has nasty anti-Semitic overtones, although so far, she hasn’t said anything outright against the Jews. Anti-Semitism aside, I do believe the development of capitalism has worked to undermine the nation state and people’s natural loyalty to their homeland and the family. There hasn’t been an evil genius behind this. It’s just that international financial speculators, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, have had no moral issues investing in Britain’s rivals and moving their money across continents in order to maximise profits. Mogg is, of course, a Roman Catholic, which I hope helps to explode any myth that the Jews are somehow behind it. Western nations like America and Britain are being harmed by outsourcing and the movement of their industries abroad. That’s one of the reasons many Americans voted for Trump, even though he promptly broke that policy once elected. And I believe that extreme individualism that has led to the decline of the family and attachment to wider British society partly comes from the way late 20th century capitalism tried to turn people from citizens into atomised consumers. Meloni has said this, and I agree with her.

Concern about Welfare and Economic Policies

I am, however, deeply concerned about her welfare and economic policies. She’s fiscally conservative, demanding low taxation, which in my experience means starving the state budget so that state supported industries and services decline to the point of collapse. And I have found a video of her speaking to the far right Spanish Vox party in a rally in Spain. This makes me feel profoundly uneasy given what a monster Franco was. He was more brutal and ruthless in the massacres he carried out than the Italian Fascists who fought for him in the Spanish Civil War. And when they’re worse than Musso’s storm troopers, it’s clear you’re dealing with a monster. Spain is still suffering the scars from his dictatorship. I realise that Vox and the Centre Right party have won a landslide election, but the thought that there are some people in the coalition that might be nostalgic for the old brute is deeply disturbing. This is my assessment of her so far. She’s anti-immigrant, but so far not racist; homophobic, but has a point regarding issues like surrogacy; broadly right about the importance of the traditional family, religion and country, though I am worried about the direction these common sense values could be taken. I don’t want them to be given the kind of totalitarian, intolerant support Mussolini and the fascists gave them. Nor do I want single mothers and gay parents to be demonised. And I have deep disquiet about her economic policies and attitude towards welfare provision. If she’s anything like the rest of the right, she’ll try and cut it to the point where working class poverty increases.

Now The Tories Are Coming for Those on Sickness Benefits

May 25, 2023

Earlier this week the Spectator published a noxious piece by its noxious editor, Fraser Nelson. Nelson was complaining about the numbers receiving sickness benefit while businesses in Britain are struggling to recruit workers. This included, he said, army officers with a beginning salary of £35,000. From what I could gather, the thrust of his article was that the people on sick leave and benefits should be taken off them and then forced to go into one of these vacant jobs. This has been followed by various other right-wing politicians declaring that they intend to retrain the long-term sick to fill these vacancies. The implication here is the old Blairite assumption about people on disability benefits that a certain proportion of them, at least, must be malingerers. It’s why the work capability assessment was set up to find a certain percentage of claimants fit for work, whether they were or not, and the consequent scandals of genuinely critical disabled and terminally ill people being thrown off benefits and told to get a job. It’s the attitude behind the New Labour and the Tories’ wretched benefit reforms, which not only demands claimants look for work and have their searches checked by the staff, but also has them thrown off benefits and sanctioned on the slightest pretext. If they’re starting on the long term sick, it probably indicates that they’ve gone as far as they can demonising and humiliating the unemployed and have been forced to start demonising and humiliating the sick. It’s also based on the unsympathetic attitude that working is good for you and will get you back on your feet. This was the attitude a few years ago when Dave Cameron’s coalition government came to power, and disability campaigners tore into that, showing that this simply wasn’t the case. There seems to be no awareness that some people are sick because of their jobs and working conditions. As for the mental health crisis hitting Britain, it isn’t due to Gary Lineker spreading fears about climate change, as Richard Tice has declared. It’s far more to do with the cost of living crisis caused by rising inflation, stagnant wages kept below the rate of inflation, as well as job insecurity caused by zero hours contracts and the gig economy and the detrimental effects of Brexit. But Reform and the Conservatives can’t admit that, as they believe that this has all been a splendid success and will make us all wealthier and business more secure and prosperous in the long run.

Behind this, I suspect, is the need to get British workers to take the jobs that were originally filled by immigrants and migrant workers now that immigration has become such a hot topic and the Tories are announcing their intention to cut it. It’s basically a return to the calls for Brits to work a fruit pickers instead of migrant workers a few years. That was met by complaints from people who had tried, but were turned down as the farmers preferred to employ migrants.

As for retraining the unemployed to fill certain jobs, there are obvious problems with this. Not everyone has the strength or temperament, let alone the academic qualifications for certain jobs. Army officers are an example of this. Membership of the armed forces demands physical and mental toughness as well as the ability to kill while observing the laws of war. In the case of the officer corps, it also demands intelligence, the jokes about military intelligence being a contradiction in terms aside. Those are very exacting standards and not everyone is able to fill them. There are other problems matching people to jobs. I was given grief when I tried signing on after gaining my archaeology Ph.D. nearly ten years ago by the clerks at the Job Centre. They were annoyed that I spent my time looking for jobs as an archaeologist, particularly in academia. I was told at my last meeting with them, where the supervising girl basically told me not to bother signing on any more, that I should really have been looking for menial jobs like cleaning before trying to find the work I was qualified to do. It shows the way the Job Centre staff aren’t interesting in making sure the right people find the right jobs but simply getting people off their books. But the problem with this is that employers of such jobs probably aren’t interested in taking on graduates, who are obviously overqualified. And some of the jobs that need to be filled require years of training and experience. Our favourite internet non-historian the other day put up a piece asking why this country needed to import architects and archaeologists from overseas. With archaeologists I think he may have a point, as I think there may be surplus of qualified archaeologists compared to the number of jobs. The profession was expanding a decade ago, but that seems to have passed and the number of archaeology firms set up in the boom time may have shrunk. I don’t know about architects. Assuming that there is a shortage of British architects – and I’m not sure there is – the problem here is that it takes years of study and training to qualify as one. It’s not a profession where someone can be retrained and fit to work in a few weeks.

The demands for people on sickness benefit to be retrained to fill these job vacancies then is just more right-wing Tory ideology about benefit scroungers and malingerers, which ignores the real reasons behind their sickness and the problem the unemployed face finding jobs they can actually do. But as the government and business faces increased difficulty recruiting foreign workers because of Brexit and the controversy over immigration, we can expect these demands to get worse.

Anne Widdecombe Declares People Have No Right to Cheap Food during Inflation

May 17, 2023

More evidence of what a nasty, callous and thoroughly unsympathetic piece of work Anne Widdecombe is. With more people suffering real hardship and starvation due to the cost of living crisis, it’s now been reported that Widdecombe really doesn’t have much sympathy for their plight. She was in some kind of debate over the rising cost of food. The prices of some articles have risen by 25 per cent. Cheese sandwiches were cited as an example, the price having risen enormously from its previous price of 40 p. What was Widdecombe’s response to the question? She said that people shouldn’t make cheese sandwiches if they couldn’t afford the ingredients, and that people had no right to cheap food because of inflation. It was the same complete lack of any kind of empathy for the public displayed by 30p Lee Anderson.

But people do have a right to expect staple foods will be kept affordable. During times of famine in the 18th century, when the price of bread rose beyond the ability of the poor to buy it, mobs broke into bakers’, seized the loaves and sold them to the public at a price they considered just and affordable. According to historians of the working class such as E.P. Thompson, this was part of a growing working class consciousness. This has been challenged by right-wing historians, who see it as middle class consciousness. Regardless of the niceties of such debates, the lesson is that ordinary, working people did feel they had a right to cheap food, and when this was unable, took matters into their own hands. I am not suggesting that people similarly break into modern bakers and their local supermarkets to steal or seize items. I am merely saying that people have a right to expect official intervention to ensure that some items remain cheap even during inflation.

Widdecombe departed to Richard Tice’s Reform party a few years ago, dissatisfied with the Tories over Brexit. I caught a bit of her speech on YouTube at their conference a week of so ago before I turned it off in disgust. She’s still suffering from the delusion that we can make wonderful deals with countries independently of the EU, despite the fact that the Tories glaringly struggled to do so. Liz Truss’ deal to export British cheese to Japan, where most of the people are lactose intolerant, was being promoted as some kind of success. Instead it provoked widespread laughter and ridicule. She hasn’t learned anything from that. But what really made me turn off was when she looked back nostalgically at the days when you could just turn up at your doctor’s and be seen without an appointment. Yes, I remember those halcyon days as well, Anne. They were right before Thatcher’s healthcare reforms of privatisation and cuts started to bite, and created the horrific mess healthcare is in today. Widdecombe was part of Major’s administration, which helped create it. She can’t blame Labour or socialism for the state it’s in. It’s purely the Tories’ fault, although I don’t think Blair helped. And it won’t get better if Tice’s lot get voted in, although they are better than the Tories in that they do recognise the benefits of partly renationalising the energy companies.

But Widdecombe has shown herself to be out of touch and completely unsuited to be anywhere near government. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Complacent Spectator Supporting Bank of England on Low Wages

April 27, 2023

More proof of the Tories’ complete indifference to ordinary’s people’s suffering. The Trussel Trust, which runs the majority of Britain’s food banks, reported yesterday that there had been a steep rise in the number of people using them. They reported that last year they had served 1.3 million emergency food parcels. This is an absolutely disgrace in a country as rich as Britain. They recommended that benefits should be pegged to keep pace with the price of food.

Brilliant idea!

The response from the Tories was predictable, however. You got a statement saying that they were determined to eradicate poverty or something, and that they had raised benefits already by 10 per cent. My guess is that however much they raised it, it’s still below the rate of the inflation, so that food is still unaffordable for some people. Also, it doesn’t address the issue of the vicious and sadistic sanctions system, nor the poverty wages being paid by some businesses which means that many of those claiming benefits are actually working people.

The Beeb on their breakfast news this morning put up a series of graphs showing wages compared with the rate of inflation. The railway workers average wages were above, but those for teachers and nurses were below. Well below. If teachers’ wages had kept pace with inflation, they’d be on £44,000 by now.

But wage rises in line with inflation is too much for the Bank of England and the Spectator.

Yesterday an article from the Spectacularlyboring appeared stating that the Bank of England was right to demand that wages be kept low. This comes from very well paid Tory journalists repeating the ideas of exceptionally well paid Bank of England executives. I think the attitude is that if wages are raised, this will increase inflation.

Except that it’s not ordinary wages driving inflation. Robert Reich has said that it’s driven by profits, and although he was referring to America I dare say it applies over here.

What we need is a return to a prices and wages policy, but as this went out with Maggie Thatcher, it would be admitting that part of Thatcherism is a massive failure. And once that’s admitted, the rest is vulnerable too. And we can’t have the masses questioning the absolute truth of Thatcherite economic orthodoxy.

It’s long past time that Thatcherism fell. And the Trussell Trust is right:

Make benefits rise in line with food prices!

Robert Reich: Corporate Profits Are Driving Inflation, Not Worker’s Wage Demands

December 20, 2022

I noticed yesterday that the government had fallen back on the tired old excuse for not paying the striking nurses a fair wage, that it was ‘inflationary’. But it’s not wage demands from employees that are pushing prices up, it’s corporate profiteering. The American left-winger Robert Reich, who I think was something in the Obama or Clinton governments, posted this on the community page of his website this morning:

‘Corporate profits accounted for roughly 11% of price growth from 1979 to 2019. Today, record corporate profits account for 53.9% of price increases. Folks, inflation isn’t the result of workers asking for fairer wages. Corporate greed and unchecked monopoly power are to blame.’

Quite. And I’m absolutely sure it’s exactly the same over here, because of the nature of multinational capital and the way we’ve blindly followed the Americans since Thatcher read Von Hayek and thought it was a good idea.

The only solution is to get the Tories out and return to a properly mixed economy.

Message from Rachel Reeves Promoting Labour

November 19, 2022

I got this message on Thursday. I’m glad that the Labour party are preparing to confront the Tories, but I am concerned by the serious lack of detail about policies. I think Labour’s already been challenged about that in parliament this week, and it looks like Starmer is just playing the game of letting the Tories hang themselves rather than present any real concrete alternatives. If he’s anything like Blair, he’ll just pick up their old policies and carry on as they did. Or go even further and complete his betrayal of Labour’s real activists and supporters.

‘Dear David,

As we approach the end of 2022, we find ourselves in a worse place than where we started.The mess we are in is not just a result of 12 weeks of Conservative chaos, but 12 years of Conservative economic failure.

Inflation is spiralling. Growth is plunging. Living standards are falling.

And today, Jeremy Hunt delivered a fiscal statement with less for public services and more tax rises for working people.

Yet again with this Tory Government, it is working people who will foot the bill. 

David, Britain is a great country, with fantastic strengths. But the Tories are holding us back.

They have pick-pocketed the purses and wallets of the entire country.

A double whammy of frozen tax thresholds and inflation eroding people’s wages.

The stealth taxes, excuses and unfair choices announced by Jeremy Hunt make one thing very clear: the Tories do not deliver for working people.

No plan to deliver economic growth, no plan to fix our crumbling public services and crucially, no plan for the future.

What we need is a serious, long-term plan to get our economy growing again – powered by the talent and effort of millions of working people and thousands of businesses.

We need a greener, more dynamic economy, creating jobs across every part of the country, with a modern industrial strategy where government works hand in hand with business.

That is what Labour will deliver.

David, after 12 years of failure, Britain can no longer afford the Tories. It’s time for a fairer, greener future with Labour.

Thank you,

Rachel Reeves MP
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer’ 

38 Degrees Petition Against Liz Truss Enjoying PM’s Perks and Appointing New Peers

October 28, 2022

I got this petition early today from internet democracy group 38 Degrees. One of their community, Vicky Ropner, has put up a petition calling for Liz Truss to be prevented from enjoying the perks of ex-prime ministers. These include the ability to appoint new peers to the House of Lords. Truss was only Prime Minister for three months and was simply too disastrous as premier to enjoy these benefits. I completely agree and have very definitely signed it. It is grossly unfair that she should enjoy the privilege of elevating her cronies when her wretched policies have resulted in horrific levels of inflation and increased mortgage rates. Not to mention something like a quarter of this great nation’s children relying on food banks and people having to use ‘warm banks’ to keep warm ’cause they can’t afford to heat their homes.

No to perks for Truss.

And definitely ‘No’ to the Tories.

Here’s the petition

‘Dear David,

Liz Truss left her position as Prime Minister after being in the job for less than 2 months. [1] But despite being in the job for such a short amount of time, she could still be allowed to put through a resignation honours list and choose people to promote to the House of Lords. [2]

That’s why Vicky, a 38 Degrees supporter, set up a petition demanding Truss is denied the privilege. She believes an “incompetent and disgraceful” Prime Minister should not get such rewards.

Recently, the House of Lords Appointments Committee – who decides whether or not approve new members of the House of Lords – rejected a number of nominations, and spoke out against unsuitable candidates being put forward. [3] Huge public pressure could convince them to step in and stop Liz Truss’ honours list being approved.

So, if you agree with Vicky and believe a Prime Minister forced to resign after just a few weeks should not be allowed to reward their friends with jobs for life in the Lords, can you sign the petition today? [4] It only takes 30 seconds, and we’ll hand the petition in to those in charge in the next few days!

“Campaign created by Vicky Ropner

Sign the petition

To: The Conservative Party, Parliament and the House of Lords Appointments Commission

What: Liz Truss and the Conservative party need to realise that the public mood is for her to leave quietly without an honours list or any other perks of the job. She has been an incompetent and disgraceful Prime Minister.

Why is this important: Liz didn’t even last 3 months, there is no other occupation that would grant you anything for that, no honest one anyway. Instead she fell at the first hurdle, making huge and avoidable mistakes because of her arrogance. Consequently the people of the UK experienced even more worry and suffering.

It now must be made law that a PM that resigns or is forced to go before a year has passed, has no rights to the perks of the job after leaving. It is insulting and ridiculous that she should be able to set her friends up in the House of Lords, receive severance pay and other perks after being such an appalling PM. She blamed circumstance and not herself. She chose such an appalling cabinet that wasn’t fit for purpose.

She managed one thing, she attended the Queen’s funeral, even Larry the cat could have managed that if they’d provided a comfy enough chair!

Stop this nonsense NOW!

Read more…

Sign the petition

Thanks for being involved,

David, Megan and the 38 Degrees team

PS. Not everyone reading this email will agree with the concept of the House of Lords at all, but one thing we can all agree on, is it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. So we should be able to expect representatives in the House of Lords to be chosen because they want to do the best for our country, not because of who their mates are.

PPS: Vicky Ropner started their petition on the 38 Degrees website.

With 38 Degrees anyone can start their own campaign with the click of a button. But that’s just where your journey begins. Creating a petition, then sharing it with friends and colleagues, can soon give you a groundswell of support. Perhaps you’ll end up changing something really important.

Use this link to get your campaign started today, it takes just a couple of minutes and we’ll support you every step of the way: https://link.38degrees.org.uk/start-campaign.

NOTES:

[1] The Guardian: Liz Truss resigns as PM and triggers fresh leadership election
[2] Evening Standard: Outrage as Liz Truss gets a resignation honours list
[3] Yahoo!news: Four of Boris Johnson’s peerage nominations ‘rejected by Lords watchdog’
Times [Paywall]: Lords watchdog snubs Tory peers
Times [Paywall]: Stop nominating unsuitable peers, Tories and Labour told
[4] 38 Degrees: Liz Truss should go without an honours list or any other perks!

Leaked Applebee’s Memo about Using the Cost of Living Crisis to Exploit Employees

March 25, 2022

A few days ago the Chris Hedge’s Fan Club posted a leaked memo from Applebee’s which definitely shows that in the current economic crisis, we are definitely not ‘all in it together’. Chris Hedges is a powerful left-wing American journalist and broadcaster. I think he might be an ordained Presbyterian minister. Certainly his father was, before he was thrown out by his congregation for backing gay rights. This was obviously at a time when the gay rights movement was just beginning and still massively controversial. Hedge’s himself was one of the few journalists to cover the wars in Central America in the 1980s from the front line, and he has talked about the atrocities committed by Fascist groups like the Contras in Nicaragua. This were the same Fascist death squads and torturers to whom Reagan sold arms and provided other aid, while allowing them to finance their campaigns of terror by exporting cocaine to America. Where it helped further devastate desperately poor Black Americans. The same butchers Reagan declared were the ‘moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers’. Some patriotic Americans could feel their country was being insulted. Other left-wingers might be more worried that it’s true.

A few days ago the YouTube channel devoted to him and his analysis of capitalism and contemporary politics got hold of a leaked memo from Applebee’s. We don’t have it in this country, but I gather that it’s a chain of restaurants across the Pond. The memo talked about using the current crisis, with petrol prices rising and inflation expected to explode generally, as an opportunity for treating people badly. ‘Because their desperate’.

This is grubby, and I realise that not all businesses are like it. But this is the predatory face of capitalism, and unfortunately it’s companies like this that are bankrolling the political parties on both sides of the Atlantic. The right regard capitalism as patriotic, but there is nothing patriotic about this. It’s anti-social profiteering, pure and simple.

We need to end corporate donations in politics, and drive through legislation to protect workers and consumers from such cynical exploitation.

Richard Burgon’s Petition for a Wealth Tax Not National Insurance Increase

March 16, 2022

I’ve just had this email from left-wing Labour MP Richard Burgon for a tax on the superrich one per cent to be imposed instead of the Tories’ increase on National Insurance, which will affect the working class.

‘People are being hit by a cost-of-living emergency from soaring energy bills, high inflation, falling real-term wages and cuts to Universal Credit.

Yet next month the Tories are going to make this even worse by hiking National Insurance on ordinary working people.

I’ve launched a campaign to scrap this tax rise on working people and to replace it with a Wealth Tax on the richest 1%.

I’ve put down a parliamentary motion calling for this – already backed by over 60 MPs from 8 parties.

Next week I’ll be presenting a public petition in parliament calling for the Tories to scrap this National Insurance rise and replace it with a Wealth Tax.

Will you back my campaign by adding your name to the petition I am presenting in Parliament next week?

Sign the petition to tell the Tories: we want a Wealth Tax not a National Insurance rise

I’ve absolutely no problem with signing the petition. Since the election of Thatcher, the Tory party has given massive tax cuts to the rich, which has been offset by shifting the tax burden onto the working class. The proposed National Insurance tax hike is part of that policy. It’s time it was ended and the rich were made to pay their fair share.

Belfield Rants Against the Rich Imposing Wage Freeze – Yes! That’s Why Corbyn Was Right!

February 9, 2022

Bug-eyed right-wing YouTuber Alex Belfield also put up another video today in which he gave his viewers the benefit of his scathing criticism of the Bank of England. Inflation is rising, you see, and the Bank is afraid that if people ask for a pay rise, this is will exacerbate it. So they’ve called for people not to ask for one. Belfield was duly disgusted, pointing out that the people ordering this were toffs, who would then give themselves an exorbitant pay rise on the grounds of enhanced performance or something like that. I don’t disagree with him. Prices are rising, and pay has been kept below the inflation rate for donkey’s years now so that most people have effectively taken a pay cut. The left in Britain and America has pointed out that pay for ordinary people has stagnated since the 1980s. But it has increased massively for the rich. And we have seen chief executives award themselves massive, bloated pay rises, all accompanied by cries that it was just performance related pay and they were paying themselves the market rate for their talents. Even when those talents pushed their companies to the wall. A number of economists have actually suggested that keeping inflation low actually hasn’t benefited the economy, which is another knock to Thatcherism.

Jeremy Corbyn promised to increase the pay of ordinary people. He was also going to strengthen trade unions and give employees more rights at work. It was after all strong unions that won pay rises for their workers. But Thatcher hated the unions because they were a check on management and lowered productivity. So she did everything she could to strangle and smash them, a policy that was continued by all the administrations that followed her.

As for people not being able to afford food and other essentials, wasn’t that what the prices and incomes policy pursued by various post-War governments until Thatcher was supposed to solve? Yes, I think it was. Looks like we might need to revive it. Which is more proof of the massive failure of Thatcherism.

Everything working people are suffering now is the direct result of the Conservative, Thatcherite policies Belfield supports. This is why Thatcherism should be consigned to the dustbin and his own wretched right-wing opinions ignored.

It’s why we need to give working people real wages, and revive the trade unions.

It’s why we should have had Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10.