Posts Tagged ‘Reform Party’

GB News Platforming Reform Party’s Attack on NHS

February 22, 2022

Yesterday I put up a piece about a couple of videos attacking the NHS and preparing for its privatisation from GB News, featuring Nana Akua and Calvin Robinson. GB News is, you will remember, the right-wing alternative to the ‘wet and woke’ BBC. The channel has had a troubled history. It’s main personality was supposed to be Andrew Neil, formerly of the Beeb, and chair of the company that owns the increasingly Alt Right Spectator. That’s the Tory magazine that publishes Taki and his rants against the Jews and praising the Greek neo-Nazi outfit, Golden Dawn, as just good, patriotic Greek boys. Well, I’m sure there are any number of good patriotic Greek boys, who, unlike the Golden Dawn, don’t go around beating up immigrants and murdering left-wing journalists. Neil, however, departed for pastures new, and has been replaced by Nigel Farage as the broadcaster’s leading personality. This has improved ratings in that many more people are watching Farage. They aren’t, however, staying to watch the broadcaster’s other videos or programmes. But at least the production quality has improved so that it doesn’t look like they’re filming in a darkened shipping container.

After Akua and Robinson had done their bit pushing Tory falsehoods, along came the deputy leader of Laurence Fox’s Reform Party. Fox set it up as a response to what he considers to be the woke attack on British culture and history, and it’s been duly criticised because of this. In the video, Fox’s deputy began by criticising the health service for spending £49,000 painting various crossings on its premises in the trans colours. Now I have to say that I don’t think that’s the best use of funding myself, but all the government services including the police are under pressure to show they’re inclusive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. Hence there have been police cars painted in the gay flag, accompanied by gay police officers, and even what looked like a cop in a gay bumblebee outfit as part of this public relations exercise. These were criticised by the right and YouTubers like Belfield, but the cops’ reasons for staging these campaigns are entirely understandable. Even after the decriminalisation of homosexuality c. 1968, public prejudice against gays was very high and many policemen were violently prejudiced. There were ironic jokes at the police’s expense in the ’80s by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones about police beating up gay men. There’s also a clip from the 1970s of a senior police officer, who states quite openly that he tries to arrest gay men at every chance he can get. In the 1980s there was James Anderton, the head of Manchester police, who provoked widespread outrage when he described gay people as depraved and said that AIDS was the Almighty’s judgement on them. Other organisations that have tried to reassure the gay community that they are perfectly welcome to use their services included the railways with the gay train. This was painted in the gay colours, and crewed by gays. I don’t know how many ordinary gay people were impressed by this display. I read comments by some gay people, who felt uneasy about it. They feared that what could start out as a positive statement could easily become negative through the special treatment and segregation of gays. Other gays have also commented on various vlogs that they now find the Pride marches somewhat ominous and intimidating, now that the tolerance of homosexuality and gay people is now an official policy and that the Pride marches come with sponsorship and endorsements from the big corporations. What once was genuinely radical and countercultural has now become mainstream and co-opted by the political and corporate establishment. But to come back to my main point, the NHS is merely one of a number of institutions and businesses, who feel that they have to make a gesture to reassure marginalised sections of the community.

And then came the slide. The Deputy Reformpartiefuhrer then moved on to claim that the NHS was being mismanaged. Now I agree, but for very different reasons than the Reform party bloke. There is waste in the NHS, but it’s due to the increased bureaucracy that has come with a quarter century and more of Thatcherite privatisation. The private healthcare companies, who’ve been given NHS contracts aren’t more efficient than the NHS. Indeed, in many instances they are less so – private hospitals are smaller. And administration costs have risen so that they’re now approaching the levels of the American private healthcare system of 24 per cent. The health service also receives far less funding than that of other companies, including America. But the Tories and their press are still lying to us about how it’s wasteful, inefficient and so needs more privatisation and less funding. And the Reform party, as a party of the right, are pushing that message.

Be careful, then, about Fox’s crew. They’re trying to attract followers with their opposition to ‘woke’ policies, but behind it comes the usual Tory demands and ideas. These will result in the privatisation of the NHS, with worse service, poorer health and the threat of a complete absence of care for those unable to pay.

This is what the Reform Party and GB News stand for, whatever their social conservative message. Don’t be taken in.

The Young Turks: Trump Refuses to Disavow Klan Support, Then Says He Did

March 1, 2016

In this piece from the Young Turks, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss Donald Trump, and the way the Realtor Fuehrer tied himself up in knots when asked if he disavowed the endorsement he was given by David Duke, a former Grant Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.

When first asked that question, Trump pleads ignorance. He states that he doesn’t know who Duke is, or what the other racist groups that have endorsed him are. He requests the interviewer to send him a list, as these groups might be fine. He doesn’t want to wrongly disavow those groups that he doesn’t know, and which may be perfectly OK. When pressed, he continues to claim that he doesn’t know who Duke is.

Uygur and Kasparian point out that he certainly does know who Duke is, as in 2000 he was due to go on an electoral platform with the Reform Party. He pulled out, however, when he found out that he would be sharing it with David Duke, stating that Duke’s company was not one he wanted to keep.

The anchors point out that much of Trump’s support comes from Southern racists. Not all of it, certainly, but a fair portion. They also argue that Trump goes crowd-surfing, throwing policies out to his supporters, and seeing what’s popular. They discuss whether or not Trump will actually retreat when he finds out that he’s metaphorically in the wrong room with the KKK and other racist groups. They also point out that Trump by and large hasn’t been asked tough questions before by the media, and so he’s thrown when somebody actually does their job and asks him a tough question, like the support he’s getting from the Klan.

Later on Trump appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, where he was asked by Jake Tapper whether he was happy with the endorsement from the Grand Wizard. Trump huffed and puffed again, claiming that he was stuck at home with a faulty earpiece and didn’t hear the question correctly when it was first asked, and that the interviewer had mentioned other groups, which he didn’t know about, and which he didn’t want to disavow before he examined them. But he did then claim to disavow Duke’s endorsement. He had, he claimed two days before then disavowed the Klan and its support for him, including on Facebook.

Hmmm.

Uygur and Kasparian state that there are two aspects to the Klan’s endorsement of Trump. It either harms him, which is all well and good. But if it doesn’t harm him, then that fact will certainly harm the Republican party. There’s no way they can come out of that looking at all good, if Trump remains popular despite, or because of, support from the KKK.