Posts Tagged ‘Kwasi Kwarteng’

38 Degrees Launches Cost of Living Catastrophe Map

October 17, 2022

I got this email from internet democracy site 38 Degrees earlier this evening.

BREAKING: the Government has ripped up their disastrous mini-budget – and now they want us to pick up the pieces. [1] They’ve put our livelihoods, our homes and our futures on the line with their reckless plans, and turned the cost of living crisis into a catastrophe. [2]

But with no sign of the rescue plan we’ve needed all along, we need to show them the price we’re paying. And we’ve got just the thing.

So we’ve just launched a HUGE, ambitious new project: the cost of living catastrophe, mapped.[3]Our interactive map spotlights more than 1,000 stories from across the 38 Degrees community – and the country.These are the real lives behind this catastrophe.

This is what the map looks like

Together, thousands of us have forced the Government into the biggest U-turn we’ve ever seen – but we can go further. [4]If all of us share this map far and wide, we’ll put the stories behind this catastrophe front and centre, so journalists, MPs and the Governmentwill have no doubt that we need a proper rescue plan for the country.

So, David, will you help keep up the pressure on the Government by sharing our cost of living catastrophe map – and show the real price of this crisis?

Twitter is the best way to ensure as many MPs and journalists see this map. Just click below and retweet the 38 Degrees tweet or – if you can – ‘quote tweet’ it and share your own cost of living story. You could even tag your MP!

SHARE ON TWITTER

If you don’t have Twitter, you can share on Facebook or WhatsApp instead.

SHARE ON FACEBOOK

SHARE ON WHATSAPP

Or, if you don’t use social media, will you consider chipping in so we can help share it via online and offline ads.

Thank you for being involved,

Flo, Angus, Matt, Jonathan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: New chancellor reverses ‘almost all’ tax measures 
The Telegraph (paywall): Energy price cap could be torn up under plans considered in Whitehall
[2] BBC News: What was in the mini-budget and what has changed?
The Independent (paywall): Kwarteng confirms further cuts of up to £18bn for public services
Sky News: Cost of living: More mortgage products now on offer – but interest rates continue to rise
[3] 38 Degrees: The cost of living catastrophe, mapped 

I’ve absolutely no problem with posting this on social media. The Khazi may be gone, but Liz Truss and her Tory hordes are still in power, and people are still hurting. And they don’t care about the poor – only about the rich, and getting re-elected.

Meme on the Real Reasons Hunt Has Been Made Chancellor

October 15, 2022

This meme was posted on the community page of right-wing group Correct, Not Political on YouTube. I’ve talked about them before. They’re a bunch who protest Drag Queen Story Hour, gay and trans rights demos, also marches and protests by environmentalists, anti-racist and pro-refugee organisations, trade unions and people they categorise as ‘commies and socialists’. They’re also against our new, beloved monarch, King Charles, because he’s another tree-hugger and is clearly in cahoots with the World Economic Forum to bring about ‘green communism’ in this country, in which we won’t own anything but be happy anyway. I’m sure Charles himself has very strong sympathies with the ecological and conservation movements but foisting green communism on us? This is Alex Jones level bonkers. But it does seem that in the Tory party if you want high office, it helps to be an aristo. Dave Cameron was and had even worked for the monarchy at the express invitation of their office. Boris Johnson also toff. Thatcher used to spout nonsense about meritocracy. Supposedly once state management had been cleared away, it would allow people to rise to the top through their natural talents no matter what their previous station in society had been. Well, social mobility has stalled since the days of Tony Blair, and the current composition of the Tory party and its leadership shows that too many of them owe their position to inherited wealth. Precious few of them have made their way up from humble origins, with the exception of Sajid Javid, whose father was a Bristol bus driver, and Nadine Dorries, who I think grew up in a council house.

But Hunt did write a book about privatising the NHS and he supports all the Thatcherite policies that have led our great and wonderful country into the current state, although he’s not as extreme as Truss and Khazi.

And that’s all that matters. Get him out. Get her out. Get all the Tories out!

Satirical Sketches of Truss, Kwarteng, Coffey and & Kenneth Williams

October 14, 2022

Brian’s suggestion that now ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng should be nicknamed ‘Khazi’, after the Khazi of Kalabar, played by Kenneth Williams in Carry on the Kyber gave me a few ideas for more sketches. I sketched Williams as the Khazi, and then drew him as Julius Caesar in Carry On, Cleo, because that’s the movie I mostly remembered the flared nostrils and arched delivery from. I’m afraid neither of the sketches are exactly like Williams, though the sketch of the Khazi is the better of the two. Now that Truss has stabbed Kwarteng in the back, it seems particularly serendipitous that I did the sketch of Caesar, with the bug-eyes staring down at the protruding dagger. So, I’ve done a small sketch of Kwarteng as Caesar. Below that sketch is Coffey as the Butterball cenobite from Hellraiser. And after seeing the photo of Truss with the mad staring eyes and open mouth as if she’d just gone utterly bonkers on the cover of Private Eye, I couldn’t resist sketching her being dragged off to the psychiatric ward. I’d like to work some of these up into proper sketches later. I hope you like them.

Sketch of Truss, Kwarteng, Coffey and Friend

October 12, 2022

I made this sketch of the three leading Tories yesterday with a view to drawing a satirical version of them all later on. The figures underneath them is the Butterball cenobite from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. I included him because I thought there was a certain similarity to Coffey. I based the picture of Truss from a photograph of her on the cover of last week’s Private Eye, which showed her in a pose that truly suggested she was wide-eyed and bonkers. She doesn’t always appear like that, obviously, but she’s still pretty bonkers.

Queasy Kwarteng – Not a Diversity Hire, But a Member of the Tory Hard Right

October 2, 2022

I’ve got a few interesting remarks from some of the great commenters on this blog about a piece a put up about a video by Simon Webb of History Debunked about Kwarteng. Webb wondered if the man now doing his best to trash our economy was a diversity hire, whose sole qualification for the job was his skin colour. Mark Pattie and Jim Round have pointed out that he isn’t. He was appointed because he was another Old Etonian willing to implement the programme of the Tory hard right.

Mark wrote

‘Kamikaze Kwarteng was *not* a diversity hire. He may be of Ghanaian descent, but he was Eton educated (hence probably why he got the Chancellor job). Suella Charlatan got the Home Sec job because she was more right-wing than Patel, and James Cleverley got his role because of his many years in the Army. Unlike the rest, he seems to be one of the very few (ten or so) genuinely decent Tories I’ve any respect for. It’s a damn shame he didn’t run for the leadership.’

And Jim commented

‘As with quite a lot of Simon Webb’s videos, it is what isn’t said rather than what is.
It isn’t mentioned that groups like The Taxpayers Alliance and The Institute of Economic Affairs had a major influence on this “budget” (Tim over at Zelo Street has covered this)
Also remember that The New Culture Forum, who Webb has been a guest of are based there.
They think that this is a “Conservative” budget but it is unknown whether they thought that the markets would react so badly.
Also not mentioned is the fact that Kwarteng is highly likely to be a millionaire, as well as attending Eton.
But no, let’s feed the narrative that he is only there because of the colour of his skin.’

The Taxpayers’ Alliance tends to turn up on BBC News programmes to give their views on economic policies. They are always presented as if they are a politically independent organisation, but their leaders are all members of the Tories. The Institute of Economic Affairs have been demanding hard-right economic policies since before Thatcher. I don’t think Kwarteng’s a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but this shows that the people at the Arise Zoom meeting on the Tory minibudget were absolutely right: he’s a Thatcherite true-believer, working for arch-Thatcherite think tanks, and so shares the same grotty mediocre views as his leader, Liz Truss. I should say that I haven’t watched Webb’s wretched video, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a section of the Tories is now trying to make him a scapegoat for Truss’ abject economic failure.

Rachel Reeves Tears into Tory Economic Policy

October 2, 2022

I had this mass email from Reeves ripping apart Queasy Kwarteng’s wretched minibudget. As much as I despise her as a true-blue Blairite, who vowed Labour would be harder on the unemployed than the Tories, she is right. Especially about trickle-down economics. Robin Ramsey, the head honcho of conspiracy site Lobster, has a background in economics. He pointed out that the Thatcherites had cottoned on to the fact that trickle-down economics was rubbish, and so were trying to justify their vile economics policies with arguments about morality. Trickle-down economics was recognised as bunk long ago, so it shows how threadbare Cheeselab Truss’ policies and ideas really are. And as terrible as I find Starmer, I’d far rather have him in No. 10 than Truss or another Tory.

‘David James, last week, the Tory government laid out their budget. 

And with it, they crashed the economy by handing enormous, unfunded tax cuts to those who earn millions and the very richest companies. 

Because of this, working people will be paying higher prices and higher mortgage rates for years to come.   

This isn’t some global issue – it happened as soon as the government stood up last Friday. They’ve damaged the UK’s reputation for good. 

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have no one to blame but themselves. This was a crisis created entirely in Downing Street, a direct result of this government’s reckless decisions.

Labour is urging the Prime Minister to bring Parliament back as soon as possible and reverse their disastrous budget.

I have been clear: there should be no return to the failed idea of trickle-down economics – the theory where you make the rich even richer and hope that somehow, some of it trickles down to the rest of us.

Labour knows that growth comes from the talents and efforts of millions of people and thousands of businesses across our country. 

As a government we will make different choices. Just this week, Labour set out our plans to deliver economic growth with our Green Prosperity Plan to guarantee a fairer, greener future for all.

After 12 years of the Tories lurching from one crisis to another, Britain deserves better. 

Labour is ready to deliver it. 

Thank you,

Rachel Reeves,
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer’

Kwasi Kwarteng – Diversity Hire, or Just Another Member of Truss’ Government of Mediocrity?

October 2, 2022

It’s been a few days since I commented on a video by Simon Webb of History Debunked, so here’s one now. A few days ago, he put one up questioning Kwarteng’s qualifications for office as Chancellor of the Exchequer and wondering if he was only chosen because he was Black. Was his appointment simply a case of Truss giving him a job in order to show how diverse her government was? Given how disastrous the minibudget is, Kwarteng does not strike me as a brilliant economist. But then, neither does Truss herself, who strikes me as another absolute mediocrity. The same with Therese Coffey, who I wouldn’t trust to run a corner shop or local whist club. As for Jacob Rees-Mogg, I think he’s cleverer than the rest in that he has clever people working for him and is sufficiently slick with his patrician diction and general demeanour to conceal his absolute incompetence from much of the public. But none of them, absolutely none of them, strike me as intellectual powerhouses. Quite the opposite.

Readers of this blog of a certain age and taste in comedy will remember Glasgae toon’s guerrilla philosopher, Rab C. Nesbitt, and his biting view of Scots politics and the treatment of the poor and the underclass from the bottom of a pint glass. In one episode, Nesbitt crossed paths with the local Tory politician, a political nonentity looking forward to great things because Tory prime minister John Major was in office, and ‘this is the age of the mediocrity’. Ah, how that was the joke at the time! John Major was the grey man, a boring, uninspiring individual following the all-too vivid figure of Margaret Thatcher. Major himself wasn’t economically deft or competent, as his privatisation of the railways and the collapse of the pound during Black Wednesday showed. But compared to Truss and her crew, he was statesman of positively Churchillian proportions.

A week or so ago I went to an online meeting where members of the Labour left, like Richard Burgon and members of the TUC responded to Truss’ minibudget. They pointed out what a right-wing nightmare it was, along with her highly authoritarian attempts to strangle the unions with fresh legislation. Truss was promising nothing to the British working class except more poverty while massively cutting taxes for the rich. But the panel was also encouraged by the fact that people were determined to resist, and mobilising strikes and protests up and down this Sceptred Isle. And as for Truss and the rest of the minions, they saw them as the last of the Thatcherite True Believers. Thatcherism has run its course. It’s now looking threadbare. People are abandoning it. And Truss and co are the last of the market fundamentalists, more right-wing than Thatcher herself. And that’s saying something, given how she was a fan of real Fascists like General Pinochet!

If I read what the Labour people were saying rightly, this means that, as the last of the true-blue Thatcherites, Liz, Kwarteng and co are the scrapings from the bottom of the Tory barrel. In which case, Kwarteng didn’t get his post because he’s a diversity hire. He got his job because he shared the views and the same lack of ability as Truss and the rest of her followers.

And unfortunately, that means we’ve got to suffer his and Truss’ doctrinaire incompetence.

Their colour is immaterial. All that matters is their grotesque hatred and victimisation of the poor to benefit the extremely, obscenely rich.

Get them out now!

38 Degrees Internet Petition Calling for Scrapping of Mini-Budget

October 2, 2022

I also got this email and petition through from internet democracy organisation calling for ‘Cheeselab’ Truss and ‘Queasy’ Kwarteng to scrap their wretched mini-budget. I’ve had absolutely no problems about signing it. Please feel free to do the same if it frightens and appals you as much as it did me.

‘They’ve driven us off a cliff, David.

Markets in panic, pensions on the brink of bankruptcy, rising interest rates, the pound crashing. [1] It’s taken Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng just 6 days to tank the economy with their ‘mini-budget’ – and put OUR livelihoods on the line. [2] Mini-budget, maximum chaos.

This is about the money left in our pockets at the end of the month. Rising interest rates send mortgages skyrocketing. [3] A weaker pound makes clothes and food more expensive. [4] This budget has plunged us into even more chaos, just when we needed urgent help to get through the cost of living crisis.

Millions of us across the country are enraged by their decision to borrow billions to give to the rich – and tank the economy in the process. [5] International financial institutions, the Bank of England and even Tory MPs have savaged the plan. [6] There’s only one option: rip up the budget.

We need to show where the British public stand today. So, David, will you add your name right now to the open letter calling on Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng to RIP UP this disastrous mini-budget? Clicking the button below will add your name automatically.

ADD MY NAME

NO, I DISAGREE

Here’s the open letter:

To Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng,

RIP UP your “mini-budget” and replace it with an urgent rescue plan to save our economy, save families during this cost of living crisis and save our public services already on the brink.
Signed,Thousands of members of the public 

ADD MY NAME

NO, I DISAGREE

Thank you for being involved,

Angus, Mike, Ellie, Tom and the 38 Degrees team

Notes:
[1] BBC News: Treasury rejects U-turn on mini-budget despite turmoil
[2] The Guardian: Kwarteng scraps top 45% rate of income tax and cuts stamp duty
The Daily Mirror: Mini-Budget 2022 summary: £45bn tax cut announcements at a glance and how they hit you
[3] The Guardian: Homeowners warned of ‘significant’ rise in UK interest rates
The Times: Prove you can afford 7% mortgage, borrowers to be told
[4] The Telegraph: How the tumbling pound is pushing up prices
Metro: Why is the pound falling and how does it affect me in the UK?
[5] The Guardian: ‘A budget for the 1%’: government accused of huge tax cut for super-wealthy
[6] BBC News: IMF openly criticises UK government tax plans
Reuters: Bank of England moves to calm bond market rout after tax cut storm
The i: All the Tory MPs who’ve publicly objected to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget

Internet Petition from 38 Degrees Against Bankers’ Bonuses

September 22, 2022

And I have had absolutely no problem signing it.

David, millions of people up and down the country are struggling to make ends meet. As energy, food and fuel prices continue to go through the roof, many of us will be forced to make the impossible choice between heating and eating this winter. [1]

But what’s one of the first things our new Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided to do? Increase bankers’ bonuses. [2] You can almost hear the champagne corks popping!

This is the wrong policy at the wrong time. Why should city bankers be first in line for help when millions of people around the country don’t know how they’ll keep the lights on over the coming months?

Tomorrow, our new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, may announce this during a mini-budget – but it’s not a done deal. If enough of us make some noise and tell them this shouldn’t be a priority during a cost of living crisis, then there’s still time for them to do the right thing and drop their plans.

So, David, will you tell the Government that they should be focusing on support for ordinary people around the country – not city bankers? Simply click the button below to add your name:

ADD MY NAME

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng seem to believe that if enough cash is stuffed in the pockets of city bankers, then this will ‘trickle down’ to the others. But it just doesn’t work like that. Ahead of a meeting with our PM on Tuesday, even President Biden said that he was “sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked.” [3]

These caps on bonuses were introduced to provide a more balanced economy – and to get away from a culture of bankers taking “excessive risks”. [4] If Liz Truss believes in ‘levelling up’ the whole of Britain, then she should prioritise places outside of the City of London and put ordinary people at the front of the queue for support.

Just months ago, former PM, Boris Johnson, floated the idea of increasing bankers’ bonuses. But after more than 96,000 of us took action, and after much public outcry, the plans were dropped. [5] We’ve shown that we can reflect public feeling and get the Government to scrap bad policies and we can do it again.

David, will you add your name to our petition calling on the Government to drop their plans to increase bankers’ bonuses?

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all your do,

Tom, David, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] Sky News: Cost of living: Millions of people already behind with their household bills, new research suggests
[2] BBC News: Liz Truss defends plan to lift cap on bankers’ bonuses
[3] Twitter: President Biden
[4] The Guardian: What is the banker bonus cap and could scrapping it boost growth?
[5] 38 Degrees: Dear Chancellor: No banker bonuses while millions struggle

They’re also asking for donations. I can afford to do so, but some of you may wish to.

’38 Degrees wouldn’t exist without you, David.

38 Degrees has no big donors – we’re funded by ordinary people who care, like you. Regular donations mean that we can plan future campaigns, pay our workers a decent wage, and keep fighting for what we all believe in.

If you don’t already do so, will you consider setting up a regular donation of a fiver, tenner or whatever you can spare? Click here to donate securely:

CHIP IN WEEKLY

Online Left Labour Meeting Tomorrow on How to Challenge the Tories’ Mini-Budget

September 22, 2022

I got this email from Labour MP John Trickett yesterday:

Wealth doesn’t trickle down, it’s hoovered up – a message from Jon Trickett MP

SPREAD THE WORD: Retweet me here // Sign-up here.

Hello David

UK billionaires increased their wealth by over £55 bn last year and workers’ real wages are set to fall by almost 8% this year, yet all the indicators are that this Friday Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng will intensify an extreme Thatcherite economic policy including corporate tax cuts, privatisation and attacks on workers rights. Again and again, these neo-liberal policies have left working people poorer and our country more unequal – and now the Chancellor says he won’t evem publish the economic forecasts. We have to fightback and win the argument for a progressive alternative.

Come and join us online this Friday (details below) at 6pm in response to the “mini-budget,” to discuss how we win the argument that wealth doesn’t trickle down, it’s hoovered up – and, vitally, to help map out our next steps in resisting the Tory offensive.

Yours in solidarity,
Jon Trickett MP on behalf of Arise – A Festival of Left Ideas.

There was also this description of the meeting:

BRIEFING: Kwarteng & Truss’ economic policy – how do we respond?

Online THIS Friday, September 23, 6pm. Register here // Invite friends here // Retweet here.

Join us on the day of Kwasi Kwarteng’s financial statement to discuss how we respond & have your questions answered with John McDonnell, Jon Trickett, Louise Regan (NEU), Chair: Nadia Jama (Labour NEC) & more.

Online briefing on the Tories’ “mini budget” – hosted by Arise – A Festival of Left Ideas.

The fact that Queasy Kwarteng isn’t going to publish the economic forecasts indicates to me that the Tories know that their wretched policies are wrecking the country, but are determined to push ’em through anyway. Now’s the time to start fighting back.