Posts Tagged ‘The Conservatives’

UKI Left on Possible Collusion between Dimbleby and Anna Soubry against John McDonnell on Question Time

September 20, 2016

Mike last week posted up a piece stating that John McDonnell, Corbyn’s second-in-command, did an excellent job of defending both himself and the Labour party leader on last Thursday’s Question Time, when all the panelists, including Alistair Campbell, Anna Soubry for the Tories, and someone from the SNP, decided to pile into criticise the Labour leadership. Strangely, the quietest of the panel was Quentin Letts, the parliamentary sketch writer for the Heil, who usually has much to say for himself. Amongst those piling in was Dimbleby himself.

Michelle, one of the great commenters here, posted this observation

The actual clip of Mcdonell on BBCQT is shown in this blog which also points out that there seemed to be a collusion between David Dimbley and Soubry re the Marxist accusation: https://ukileft.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/evidence-of-collusion-in-plain-site-between-bbc-and-anna-soubry/

The above blog came to my attention via the comments on The Canary’s post about the same programme ‘Last nights meltdown on BBC Question Time has provoked abdolute outrage.’

The piece linked to is at UK & International Left, which blogs on issues about a variety of left-wing organisations across the spectrum, from the Labour party to the Greens, to various forms of anarchism. The piece is a detailed analysis, with the relevant clip from the show, of the point where Soubry calls him a Marxist and insults him as ‘a nasty piece of work’ or some such. But she does so reading from a slip of paper, and after Dimbleby has commented on McDonnell being a Marxist. McDonnell states instead he’s a Socialist, but Dimbleby keeps on. And then Soubry joins in.

The piece argues that Dimbleby and Soubry had some kind of meeting beforehand, at which Dimbleby told Soubry he was going to raise the issue of McDonnell’s ‘Marxism’, and Soubry wrote it down, to use later.

Unfortunately, this is all too plausible. The Tory bias at the Beeb is becoming increasingly obvious, despite the bluster and denial by the corporation. Laura Kuenssberg, BBC news’ political editor, is the most blatant regular offender, but Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil have also been responsible for twisted reporting that would have delighted Goebbels. Way back in the debate over the Scottish referendum, for example, the Beeb cut the footage of Robinson asking a question of the former SNP leader, Alex Salmond. Salmond answered the question, but this was gradually cut in subsequent reports, until it vanished completely with Robinson stating that Salmond hadn’t answered his question. As for Andrew Neil, the former editor of the Economist and Sunday Times, Mike has put up a piece commenting on how the spectacular resignation of one of the Labour rebels from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet occurred on his Sunday Politics show, after Brillo had secretly prompted him beforehand.

I’ve already commented on how one Beeb journo wrote a piece in the Radio Times pondering whether the Corporation should try to keep its ratings by copying Fox News, the very blatantly right-wing news network in America. It looks like this is becoming very much their business model, despite their protestations of impartiality. As for Dimbleby, he comes from a line of newspaper proprietors, who, according to Lobster, did not allow unions at their papers. So you can’t really expect impartiality there, then.

Whatever the facts behind this episode of Question Time, the BBC is showing itself increasingly biased, as shown by the documentaries which have appeared, and no doubt are yet to appear, attacking the Labour leader and Momentum. If they think it will let them retain their viewers, they’re wrong. The majority of the audience of Fox News are late 60s +. Younger viewers are increasingly switching off and turning to the net. Just as they are and will with the corporation.

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Director’s Cartoon on Workforce Poverty

March 5, 2016

This is another very pointed comment on workforce poverty and the disastrous effect this has on consumption from ‘The Directors’, a cartoon satirising upper management that ran in Private Eye. This came from the Eye’s issue for Friday, 25th June 1999.

Directors Cartoon 3

If you can’t read it, the Director is saying to the little boy, ‘You see jack – the consumer demands lower prices and higher quality … and that can only come from sweating the workforce!’

‘But surely, Grandad, the workforce are the consumers…’

To which Grandad’s response is ‘Security! Get this kid outa here!’

It’s actually a very good point. The Angry Yorkshireman a few years ago posted up a piece on precisely this point, discussing how even the rabidly anti-Socialist Henry Ford paid his workers a good wage so that by spending they could stimulated the economy. But it’s a lesson most captains of industry and the whole of the entire Tory party have never learned. And certainly not the crew of numbskulls now in charge of reducing everyone except the rich into dire poverty.

Vox Political on BoJo, Gove and Somebody Else Demanding Public Clean Up Britain for Free for the Queen

February 29, 2016

This is a very bizarre story. The government has, in what it thinks is its infinite wisdom, that we should all get off our backsides this summer and celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday by cleaning up the country for free. Mike over at Vox Political asks the obvious question why the poor should be expected to work free of charge for a multi-millionaire monarch. The scheme was launched today by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and someone called Rory Stewart, wearing hi-vis jackets matching T-shirts with the slogan ‘Clean for the Queen’, and posing next to a giant banner of the slogan. Mike points out that this is particularly hypocritical, given that BoJo, Gove and presumably Stewart would never, ever, absolutely do anything themselves unless they were being very generously paid for it.

Go see Mike’s blog for his comments, piccies of the three Tories and the poster, and further information on the way this has been greeted on Twitter. Even one of the hacks on the Graun has had a dig at this.

Tories line up to demand free labour for our multi-millionaire monarch

It’s a bizarre idea. The Tories have clearly decided that something should be done to celebrate Brenda’s longevity. My guess is that in previous ages this would probably have resulted in pageants, fetes and parties up and down the country. Roughly the same kind of jollification that was de rigueur under the Victorians when the Queen (Gawd bless ‘er!) reached a particularly venerable age. They have, however, clearly decided that this is not acceptable in today’s economic climate, because it would cost money.

And as the government’s policy is based on cutting services, and getting the rest of the population to perform them for free, let getting old age pensioners to run libraries under ‘localism’, they’ve clearly settled on this policy instead. So, no street parties like we had a few years ago when it was the anniversary of D-Day. Instead, we’re all being told to get to work, and like it, because it’s celebratory.

It all reminds me of the corvee, the system of forced labour that was part of the serfs’ feudal duties to the lord of the manor during the Middle Ages, and which survived in France and elsewhere until the French Revolution. The Queen is a feudal monarch, and once again, her loyal subjects are being asked to toil for her for free on public works. No doubt Cameron will be making notes, wondering how he can fit it into some kind of universal, neo-feudal system. How about placing each citizen of this glorious nation under the personal authority of a leading businessman, who can use them anyway they like, putting them to work for free, on the pretext that this is somehow promoting public spirit and teaching them how to be good employees and submit obediently to the authority of the upper classes. Or is this too much like workfare?

It also reminds me of one of the more bizarre Communist rituals that used to go on in the former Soviet Union. Every year in February, in the depths of the Russian winter, there was a national cleaning day, when good Soviet citizens had to clean the streets and spring clean their places of work. That included cleaning the windows, and opening them to the bitter Russian cold. You were also expected to bring out of storage – or hiding – all the old statues of Lenin and the tat celebrating the Bolshevik Revolution, putting them proudly on display. The busts of Lenin came in a variety of materials, to suit the pockets of the Soviet purchaser. The really expensive busts were in stone. The cheaper alternative was papier mache. I can remember reading a description of the kerfuffle that broke out during one of the spring-cleans in a travel book on the Soviet Union in one office, wear they discovered that their papier mache bust of the great Soviet leader had got damp and sprouted mushrooms.

This was the Soviet Union, one of the archetypal monolithic totalitarian states. For all that Cameron, BoJo, Gove and their odious cohorts represent the direct economic polar opposite in capitalism, they share the Soviet state’s authoritarianism, its need to control absolutely and its rigidly hierarchical social order. This was a society where the party elite had access to a range of goods and services, including special, curtained shops, from which the ordinary Soviet citizens were barred. This was a state built on slave labour, where the leaders of the various industries had actually put in orders to the KGB for the numbers of new people they wanted arrested to work for them. Workfare has been organised very much on the same lines, where the unemployed are effectively rented out to the ‘work providers’ as unfree workers, who are paid only their jobseekers allowance. And not even that, if they’ve been sanctioned. Mike and the other bloggers have shown that, by law, you are still liable to perform workfare, even if you’ve been sanctioned and are not being given your Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is true slave labour, of which Stalin would be envious.

And it seems this initiative, to get us all cleaning the country up for the Queen, is pretty much more of the same. Now I’ve no objection whatsoever to campaigns to Keep Britain Tidy, like there were in the 1970s. I wish more people had respect for their environment, and there was less littering and fly-tipping. But I don’t see why we should be expected to do it for nothing. And I am very suspicious in case the government suddenly announces that it is very impressed with how well this has worked, and now wants to roll it out as a national scheme.
I can see that coming all too easily.

Private Healthcare: Insurers Demand American Women Be Sterilised

February 26, 2015

I found this extremely chilling clip on youtube. It’s protesting against the way American women have been told by their medical insurers that the are ineligible for medical insurance after giving birth by caesarean section. The only way the insurance companies were willing to insure them was if they were sterilised.

Clearly, this is a grossly immoral attack on women’s reproductive rights over their own body. But it’s not one you hear about over this side of the Atlantic.

It does, however, make sense of some of the hysterical fearmongering the Repugs have tried to stir up against Obamacare and socialised medicine in general. The attitude of the Republicans is that socialised medicine was wrong, because of the Nazis and eugenics. Right at the beginning of Obama’s administration, Sarah Palin was screaming about how she didn’t want socialised medicine in America, because she didn’t want her children facing ‘death panels’. The idea seemed to be that if American had state-funded medical care for everyone, the state would also go to extreme lengths to ensure that medical funding ensured the best possible result. And that would mean the culling of the unfit and infirm.

Many Americans seem to have actually believed this. The BBC sent one of their reporters to cover a Tea Party protest against Obamacare. One of the protesters, an older man, came up to the camera crew and shouted ‘Your healthcare system stinks!’ He then looked genuinely hurt and surprised when the Beeb’s reported calmly asked him what he meant, as though he really couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly challenge his views. He seemed never to have even considered the possibility that he could be wrong, and was shaken just by the suggestion of it.

More recently, Sarah Palin and her supporters have taken to screaming that Obamacare means that the government will limit you to only having one baby.

I’ve also come across arguments by Libertarians against the NHS on the grounds that state medical care effectively extends state control over your body, and so doctors can order you to give up smoking, exercise and so on with the threat that they will remove your health care.

This video shows that this is actually all projection. It’s really what American medical insurers are doing to those unlucky enough to have policies with them. It’s Palin, the Tea Party and the other Republican exploiters and maniacs trying to divert attention from the failings and expanding power of the medical insurers over their customers’ bodies, by hollering that it’s the reality of state medical care.

It also has profound implications in Britain. The Fuhrage has stated that he wishes to replace the NHS with an insurance-funded system. His second in command, Paul Nuttall, has also said that he wants the NHS sold off. So have a whole slew of Tories, including Andrew Lansley, the current health minister.

This is what we will get, if Britain goes down that road. And 92 Tory and Lib Dem MPs have links with private healthcare companies, and are hoping we do.

As for the Nazis and medical care, the Nazis did not introduce state medicine, or state funded medicine. Far from it. German workers had enjoyed state medical insurance after it was introduced by Bismarck in 1875. The German people therefore had enjoyed over half a century of state-funded medical treatment before the Nazis took power in 1932/3. So like much of the Repug’s propaganda, it’s not only bonkers, it’s also factually wrong.