Five Promises the ‘Leave’ Campaign Broke (and How Long it Took to Break Them)

Yes, I’m going on about Brexit again. I’m still smarting a little bit from it, to be honest. And before you say it, I know democracy has been served; but what really pisses me off is these people who think that just because they put a cross in the same box as the winning side, that they’re entitled to tell everyone else to shut the twat up about it. As if that’s it; conversation’s over. Never mind the fact that the people who voted ‘Leave’ have as much to be upset about as the people who voted ‘Remain’; after all, didn’t you vote ‘Leave’ for those completely non-racist reasons? Didn’t you subscribe to the ‘totally-not-secretly-about-my-fear-and-distrust-of-black-and-brown-people’ promises that those lovely politicians like Michael Gove and Angela what’s-her-tits made? Too many people are treating this like a fucking football match; like you won so now you have bragging rights for the rest of the season. Well, guess what: you’re bragging over a string of broken promises and false hope.

Unless you’re an actual racist, in which case fair play.

PROMISE NO. 1: THE INFAMOUS ‘£350 MILLION PER WEEK TO THE NHS’
Time it Took to Break: Less Than 24 Hours

Yeah, when Farage turned around and went ‘oh no, that was a mistake’. To be fair, it wasn’t his advert, (his was the one that looked exactly like that one Hitler did, remember?), but he didn’t exactly deny the £350mil figure prior to the referendum, did he? [1] Don’t answer that; it was a rhetorical question. Just look at the source.

PROMISE NO. 2: OUR ECONOMY WOULD BE FINE
Time it Took to Break: Less Than 24 Hours

Yes, that was Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart specifically saying prior to the referendum there wouldn’t be “a sudden change that disrupts our economy” if we leave. [2] Yeah man, Britain’ll be fucking ROLLIN’ in it when we leave, won’t we?! Yeah, um, no. No, actually, not at all. The FTSE 350 Index surrendered £140billion of its value, the value of the Pound Sterling dropped to a three-decade low, and the U.K. was stripped of its AAA credit rating, all within 24 hours of the referendum. [3] Almost as if the politicians who promised we’d be just fine were lying to further their own political careers. Or maybe they were just cockbrained idiots. Difficult to tell at this point.

As of right now, it’s hard to say whether the long-term economic effects of Brexit will be like the sunny fantasyland paradise of opportunity promised to us by Leavers. Ask me again two years after we invoke Article 50 and I’ll give you a proper answer. It’s not exactly looking good though considering that without Article 50 even being invoked, GDP is likely to decline by 0.2% in the third quarter of this year with overall GDP growth slowing considerably and inflation expected to increase significantly. [4] Lovely.

PROMISE NO. 3: IMMIGRATION WOULD DECREASE
Time it Took to Break: Less Than 24 Hours (Are you seeing a pattern developing here?)

From full-on bullshit about 5 million more immigrants to arrive in the UK should we stay in the EU (based on the idea that Turkey would join the EU, when in actual fact they were nowhere near joining and possibly never will), to Farage’s ‘I’m Literally Hitler‘ Breaking Point ad campaign, the Brexiteers were obsessed with the issue of immigration. Specifically, reducing or eliminating it altogether. [5] But they’re definitely not xenophobic for wanting fewer foreigners in this country (despite the fact that literally everyone in the UK is descended from a foreigner if they trace their ancestry back far enough); no, no, it’s not that at all. It’s just that the country is full, you see (despite the fact that only 9.6% of the country is actually built on). [6]

Anyway, it took less than 24 hours for Tory MPs to ‘clarify’ that there would be similar levels of immigration post-Brexit as there had been before (funny how they couldn’t ‘clarify’ that before the referendum, eh?). [7]

PROMISE NO. 4: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUNDING WILL CONTINUE UNTIL 2020 [8]
Time it Took to Break: Holy Shit it was actually about 3 Weeks!

Turns out none of our EU partners in research want to work with us anymore now that we can’t guarantee we’ll continue to get funding from the EU. [9] Quelle surprise.

PROMISE NO. 5: WE’D ALL SAVE MONEY ON OUR ENERGY BILLS [10]
Time it Took to Break: Pretty Much Instantly

We didn’t even need to wait for the referendum to happen for this promise to be broken. The U.K. imports around half of its energy supply anyway, so leaving the EU will ensure increased tariffs which will massively offset Boris’ promise of decreased VAT. [11]

So, to everyone who voted leave, here are some things you voted for, but are still waiting for:

£350m extra per week for the NHS
Immigration reduced
Greater control
More democracy
Favourable trade deals to be negotiated with hundreds of countries
Cheaper energy

My question to you, then, is why aren’t you angrier?

SOURCES:

The Labour Leadership Voting Scam

So the NEC (Labour’s chief administrative body) decided on some rules for their upcoming leadership election back in July.

The first rule they decided was that Jeremy Corbyn would be allowed to contest the election. That’s right, they had an honest-to-god debate on whether to even allow him to do so, despite the fact that there’s a clearly stated rule that the party leader should automatically be allowed to contest a leadership election. [1] If you’re not sure how to feel about that, let me tell you: there should be a ringing in your head like a crystal glass of cuntish treachery right now. That ringing, my friend, is the ringing of alarm bells.

Secondly, in the first of two frankly outrageous moves, they decided that anyone who joined the party in the last six months is banned from voting. That is, the six months when supporters of Corbyn flocked to the party in their droves. The NEC, as far as I can tell, didn’t even give a reason for this rule change publicly; suspicious, no? To give them the benefit of the doubt and play devil’s advocate, we could say that perhaps they were trying to stop cynical Tories from secretly signing up to vote and wrecking the contest, but then that doesn’t explain why they banned people who joined all the way back to January, unless the NEC is contending that these people are fortune tellers who knew this would happen? If they’re calling that, then I’m calling either bullshit or full-on insanity.
After this ruling, the High Court overturned the decision, which the NEC then appealed. As of 12th August, the appeal was upheld, meaning the ban will likely be in place for the election. [2] Fuckpenguins.

Finally, in an even more cuntrageous move than the previous one, the NEC quietly implemented a tiny window of just 48 hours for new members to register to vote (presumably hoping many of them wouldn’t notice and would assume they had the right to vote just by joining the party, as they were promised), and simultaneously raised the price of registering from £3 to £25, effectively pricing out the poorest members of the party. Considering the majority of that wave of people who joined the Labour Party recently in support of Corbyn were working-class voters, this seem disingenuous at best and outright hostile at worst.

It’s hard to see past the idea that Corbyn’s opponents are trying to rig the election to get the result they desire. It seems the ‘people’s party’ wants to bar the actual people from being involved as much as they can; this’ll suit the Tories right down to their Savile Row-tailored shoes.

If only the political establishment was as outraged about all of this as they seem to be about Jeremy Corbyn’s tie. Then we might see a genuinely fair democratic system which gives equal weight to both liberal and conservative views. But alas, today is not that day. As it stands, it’s beyond the bounds of coherence to make an argument that these rule changes are somehow democratic when genuine Labour Party members are not allowed to vote, while absolutely anyone with £25 to spare could have registered in that two-day window. Ridonkulous.

The one shining ray of hope in this whole shitshuffle of a fiasco of an election is that the anti-democratic spunksponges may have inadvertently shot themselves in the foot. Labour-affiliated trade unions will still be able to vote in this election, and those guys are formidably stacked in favour of Corbyn’s leadership. Thus the coup plotters may have actively blocked their only means of remoulding public opinion in their favour by stopping average members of the public from registering to vote.

Haha! Twats.

SOURCES:

Is the Media anti-Corbyn?

In short, yes. But also kinda no. Look, it’s more complicated than that, okay?

On the whole, I’ve read many different articles from various sources over the past few months about Jeremy Corbyn, and the trend seems to be as follows: the tabloids range from nakedly hostile (‘Jeremy Cor-Bin Laden promises to SHIT all over YOUR FAMILY if he becomes PM!’) and overtly misleading (a comment expressing concern about sexual assaults on public transport turned into a headline about wanting women-only trains, while appeals to reconsider British foreign policy were reported as a secret alliance with Russian Communism, amongst many others), to articles with an outwardly measured appearance but giving a disproportionate amount of column inches to Corbyn’s critics and detractors. Broadsheets, on the other hand, seem to be more even-handed. This isn’t exactly braintwatting news: the tabloids are stupendously right-wing, and want anything to do with the left-wing dead and buried before they LET MIGRANTS TAKE OVER YOUR HOMES, while broadsheets tend to at least try to bury their inherent bias underneath a veneer of respectability.

In an ideal world every article would be politically neutral, or at the very least there would be as many pro-something articles across the spectrum as there are anti-something articles so you have a balance of opinion; but in the decidedly non-ideal fucksponge of a world we live in, a small amount of bias is thus to be expected. However, according to a study conducted by the Media Reform Coalition (who, as far as I can tell, seem to display no political leanings either way and so I trust their data to be as objective as possible), there’s a consistently heavy emphasis on negativity towards Corbyn; on average, 60% of all coverage (including both articles and TV coverage) was negative, while 13% was positive. [1] This study was conducted across a broad range of both right- and left-wing media sources, as well. Surprising news, indeed.

Which brings me to the BBC. While it might be no great surprise to find that right-wing tabloids froth at the balls when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn, the BBC is supposed to be impartial. It’s taxpayer-funded, after all, and ‘taxpayers’ as a group include people of all political persuasions. But the BBC on average gives twice as much airtime to critics of Corbyn as it does to supporters. Not only this, but news reporters were much more likely to use pejorative language like ‘hardcore’ or ‘hostile’ when referring to Corbyn on air. [1] Could this be construed as a betrayal of the taxpayer in some ways, in the sense that we pay a licence fee to get, essentially, right-wing or centrist propaganda?

What interests me, then, is WHY is this happening? The majority of British media outlets are owned by right-wing media billionaires who want to maintain the status quo, sure, but how does this explain outlets like the BBC and the Guardian, who are beholden to public interests? This despite the fact that the Guardian’s own research suggests their readership are unhappy at their editorial line? [2] 

The answer, I think, is about power. The mainstream media in Britain, whether they realise it or not, shapes the parameters of political discourse in this country in a huge way. Look at how the (yes, I’m going to bring it up again, deal with it) Brexit debate became all about immigration, for example, or the trope that Corbyn is ‘unelectable’, repeated and disseminated so twatspankingly often that it’s been accepted without question by millions of people, despite the fact that Corbyn has won every election he’s ever contested at both local and party level. [3] Also witness the new trope that seems to be emerging these days about Theresa May being ‘a safe pair of hands’. How many times have you heard/seen that said or written in the last few weeks?

Corbyn himself, on the other hand, has very little time for journalists or the media; he’s too busy politicking. You know, doing his job. Hence the emergence of pisswailing articles like this one bemoaning the fact that Corbyn seems ‘sullen and uninterested’ when engaging with journos (commence the world’s tiniest violin recital now). Right there, my friends, is the rub: Corbyn represents a threat to not just the political establishment, but the media establishment, too. Articles about Corbyn come from a place where there are inbuilt and long-established assumptions about the media’s own centrality to political discourse; Corbyn’s very existence in the position of relative power he now holds challenges these assumptions. In other, less cockboffin-y words, Corbyn is a threat to the mainstream media because he doesn’t value their opinions. The more power he has, the less power they do. It’s not always, or even often, intentional or calculated, but I believe the mainstream media as an institution wants to preserve the status quo, because in doing so, it maintains its own power. There are even articles admitting as much, if you care to read between the lines (‘Corbyn=threat, therefore deserves negative coverage’ seems to be the thematic throughline of these smugfaced cunticles).

In summary, then: yes, the mainstream media do seem to be biased against him. But no, it’s not always intentional, or even necessarily a conscious decision. I told you it was complicated.

The Labour Party for Dummies

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few weeks. I’ve been on holiday; it was nice, thanks for asking.

What the hell is going on with the Labour Party right now?

I’m going to try to break this down to its barebones basics, and to do that, I need to take you back into the mists of time itself… Or at least, back a few decades. Sorry if that made you feel well old.

See, traditionally, the Labour Party is a left-wing, liberal party that (and I’m generalising here) tends to have the interests of the working classes at its heart. By contrast, the Conservatives have traditionally been right-wing and authoritarian, and tend to prioritise the interests of middle-class-and-above types. This was until 1997, when, after almost two decades of continuous Conservative Party rule (there had been an unbroken succession of Conservative prime ministers since Margaret Thatcher in 1979), the Labour Party decided to try a new approach.

Concerned with the constant losing of elections and haemorrhaging of public trust in them- at this point in time Labour was seen as the ‘high-tax party’- Labour leader Tony Blair came up with a plan to make Labour seem respectable (and, more importantly, electable) in the eyes of the average voter. This included many things, from media campaigns to a ‘prawn cocktail offensive’ (yes, that was actually what they called it) on the big wanke- sorry, bankers in London to convince them they were now a financially savvy party. But, more important than any of that, the Labour Party moved: from left, to centre.

What does this mean? Well, effectively the party stopped being so hippietwat liberal and took on some of the Conservatives’ policies, particularly their economic policies. This meant things like committing to not raising income tax and a conservative spending policy (for Blair’s first term in power, at least). And you know what? They won. By a feckin’ landslide. [1] In 1997, the so-called ‘New Labour’, proponents of a ‘Third Way’ between left- and right-wing politics, became leaders of the U.K., and Tony Blair became prime minister.

However, this ‘Third Way’, hailed at the time as a revolutionary marriage of the right and left, soon soured. The combination of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (see this post for my views on those shitbungling debacles) with the financial crash of 2008 meant public trust in New Labour- who had won said trust in large part by promising they were financially savvy, let’s not forget- plummeted. On a personal note, I’m from a working-class family in a working-class area of the U.K., and many of my friends and family lost trust in New Labour because they felt there was very little ideological or political difference between Labour and the Conversatives. I feel safe enough, considering my background and upbringing, to claim that lots of working-class people became disillusioned with British politics in general during this era, because they felt that neither of the major parties had their interests at heart and that Labour had become too much like Conservative; it became a case of, ‘who cares what we vote for? We’re fucked either way’, which explains in my eyes why votership has significantly decreased since New Labour came to power (from 70+% at elections in the 90s to around 60% at the last couple of elections). [2]

Enter Jeremy Corbyn. Elected as Labour leader in 2015, he decided to turn the exploding New Labour fucktank around and take it back to where he felt it belonged: on the left wing of this hairtairingly headtwatted bird we call ‘politics’. And that’s just what he’s done. From the renationalisation of railways and higher taxes, to the banning of nuclear weapons and rent controls on landlords, most if not all of Corbyn’s policies could be comfortably termed ‘left-wing liberal’.

So, why is there currently a crisis in the Labour Party? It’s a little complicated, but the main thing you need to know is that there is a group within the party, led by one Owen Smith, who are still loyal to the old New Labour ways. Colloquially termed ‘Blairites’ because they’re massive twa- I mean because they’re proponents of Blair’s ideals, these guys don’t like the way the party is going and have effectively launched a coup attempt to oust Corbyn from his perch. Their excuse for doing so is a perceived failure of leadership on Corbyn’s part during the EU referendum; they felt he should’ve done more to encourage people to vote remain, rather than what Corbyn actually did which was to insist on staying on the sidelines during the majority of the debate.

SOUND THE ‘PERSONAL OPINION KLAXON’, BECAUSE HERE COMES MINE:

I really like Jeremy Corbyn. Firstly, I agree with most (but not all) of his policies, which is more than I can say for any politician of the last decade. Secondly, I like the fact that he’s steering Labour back to their traditional left-wing position; it means (assuming he stays on as leader) that there’ll be a genuine political and ideological difference between the two main parties at the next election, rather than the ‘do you want a right-wing party or a slightly-less-right-wing party’ false dichotomy of the last few. Finally, I believe he has integrity; whether you like the man or not, you can’t deny that it’s a breath of fresh air to find a politician who says ‘here is what I believe in: like it or lump it’, rather than saying any fucking thing that’ll get him the most votes. In terms of his actions during the referendum, I sympathise: he was between a rock and a hard place. He couldn’t be seen to be too close to the position of Tories like Cameron, nor could he be seen to be too close to Farage, Johnson and the far-right xenophobes. 

Don’t just take my word for it, either; Labour membership has rocketed in the last few months, particularly since the leadership contest began, from approximately 334,000 members a few months ago to around 515,000 at the most recent estimate (on 5th August 2016). This is more than double the membership of the Conservative Party, and is their highest number since the 1970s. [3] Working-class folks like my mum and dad are finally starting to take an interest in politics again. Fucking finally!

Just let this sink in for a moment. The Labour Party, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, are enjoying unprecedented public support. Surely this is major news? Surely the media would be shitting all over themselves just to catch a glimpse of this political God in the flesh?… Alas, no. They prefer to obsess over his appearance, or focus on turning his words into a completely out-of-context cuntkebab that implies he’s saying something horrific. [4] [5] (Be sure to check my sources on this one, they’re hilariously flabbergasting.)

Why? I’m going to do a whole other post on that particular subject.

Tune in next time, folks.

SOURCES:
[1]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10518842
[2]: http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm
[3]: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05125/SN05125.pdf
[4]: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11940986/Jeremy-Corbyn-wears-his-smartest-suit-shirt-and-tie-yet.html
[5]: https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/3j81aa/how_to_speak_corbyn_a_headline_writer_guide/

Terrorism and the Empathy Problem

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer: what I am about to say in no way diminishes the tragedy of the Nice terror attack. It is heartbreaking to see such devastation on a massive scale and I can only offer my sincerest condolences to all those affected by it. I am, however, going to use the attack as a jumping-off point to start a discussion which, in my eyes, needs to be had. I’m fully prepared for the inevitable ‘how dare you divert attention away from this tragedy’ anger, but I hope you’ll see that if now isn’t the right time to talk about what I’m about to talk about, then I don’t know when is.

PART 1:

Just over two weeks ago, on 3rd July 2016, co-ordinated bomb attacks were carried out in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 250 people and injuring hundreds more. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack, as they almost always do.

On 12th November 2015, two suicide bombers detonated explosives in Beirut, Lebanon, killing between 37 and 43 people (reports differ). ISIL claimed responsibility for this attack, as well.

Did you know about either of these attacks? My guess is, unless you actively seek out this kind of news, you might very well not have. And yet you know all about the Paris attack and the Brussels attack, both of which ISIL claimed responsibility for. Now there’s the attack in Nice, which I’m sure ISIL will eventually claim responsibility for too, because even when it wasn’t their responsibility, they tend to do that.

Now let me tell you this: on the day the Baghdad attack happened, 878 online articles were published about it. On the day the Beirut attack happened, 1292 online articles were published about it. And on the day of the Paris attack, 21,672 online articles were published about it, while Nice had 9503 articles within 24 hours. (This information was acquired by using the ‘Advanced Search’ function on Google’s news aggregator.)

Here’s what we can deduce from this: the mass media, deliberately or otherwise, over-represents terrorist attacks committed on Western soil, as compared with attacks committed on non-Western soil. This happens regardless of who commits the attacks.

PART 2 (pre-warning: this next bit gets a little meaty and theoretical, so get your thinking caps on):

Not only were there more articles written about the Paris/Nice attacks than there were about the attacks in Baghdad or Beirut, but the content of said articles was different. Let’s take the Beirut and Paris attacks as an example, as they happened within 24 hours of each other. I’m going to put my English Literature Analysis cap on here, because the language we choose to use when describing things betrays a lot about how we think and feel about them:

In terms of the language used to describe the Beirut attacks, the overwhelming majority of articles simply reported it in a matter-of-fact way, focusing on the context of general conflicts in the Middle East. There were lots of mentions of the fact that Beirut is a ‘Hezbollah stronghold’, but no mention of the horror that befell the people of Lebanon.  By contrast, the articles written about the Paris attacks tended to focus much more on the emotions of the incident, using terms like ‘panic’, ‘grief-stricken’ and ‘horrifying’, and writing long, beautiful descriptions of what it was like to be a witness to such an attack. (I’ll include links to some articles at the bottom of this post so you can see for yourself).

The effect of this is twofold: firstly, the victims of the Paris attacks are humanised and you are made to feel empathy for them, whereas the victims of the Beirut attacks are not. Secondly, the Beirut attacks are firmly positioned as part of the ongoing chaos of Middle Eastern wars; whereas in Paris’ case, the attacks are decontextualised, giving the illusion that this is not part of any conflict and is just a random attack on Paris with no justification or warning (despite the fact that the West has been waging war on ISIL and Libya for the last year, but I’ll get to that later).

Continuing the Eng Lit Analysis theme for a second: in the days following the Paris attack, there was article upon article dissecting everything that happened during the attack in forensic detail; there were follow-up articles expressing the grief and mourning of the world; and there were articles condemning ISIL and everything they stood for. Post-Beirut? Nothing. The media just reported it and moved on.

Before I wrap up part 2, I’d like to hit you with another quick fact: there are more terrorist attacks committed by known terrorist groups, and more people die in those terrorist attacks, in non-Western countries than in Western countries. The top 5 countries by both number of terror attacks and number of fatalities per terror attack are: Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt. [1]

Here’s what we can deduce from this: despite the fact that non-Western countries are attacked far more often and with far more ferocity than Western countries, the mass media encourages us to think about, grieve for, and show compassion for attacks committed on Western soil to a much greater extent than attacks on non-Western soil.

PART 3:

After the attack on Paris, politicians from around the world went to France to pay their respects to the victims and their families. Celebrities took part in a communal outpouring of grief on social media. And we, average citizens of the Western world, changed profile pictures, created hashtags, signed messages of condolence. The same has happened for Nice. We all stood, and continue to stand, with France and Belgium in solidarity (and rightly so, of course). But where were the marches and candlelit vigils for Beirut? Where were the Western landmarks lit up in the colours of the Iraqi flag? [2]

Here’s what we can deduce from this: it is not only the media who are complicit in this way of thinking. We all are. Whichever way you look at it, there is a discrepancy in compassion between victims of terrorist attacks on Western soil and victims of attacks everywhere else.

CONCLUSION:

Choosing not to care about non-Westerners, whether it be a conscious choice or not, contributes to the very violent acts that we fear so much on Western soil. When we only have empathy for the victims of attacks on Western soil, and we are only outraged when attacks happen on Western soil, it creates a disconnect between ‘us’ in the West, and ‘them’ everywhere else. And as long as all this horrible stuff doesn’t affect ‘us’, then we don’t care about ‘them’.

So when Britain commits its forces to bombing Libya and murdering civilians there, no-one bats an eye, because it’s ‘them’. But when those same people become radicalised and vow revenge on the West (and why wouldn’t they?), and then commit atrocities on our soil, suddenly it’s a problem because it affects ‘us’. The effect of this is that when an attack happens in France or Belgium, it seems completely out of the blue because we’ve spent so much of our time not even thinking about ‘them’. Politicians play into this narrative by saying they’re ‘shocked’ and ‘saddened’ by events in Paris, Nice and Brussels; and yet, we waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we bombed Libya and continue to do so, and we care so little about it that it’s no wonder people in non-Western nations get frustrated and turn against us. The narrative of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ continues and is perpetuated by everyone involved. When you think of it that way, all of these terrorist attacks are completely understandable, if no less tragic and upsetting for it.

Ultimately, the terrorism problem isn’t just a religious problem or a political problem, so much as it is an empathy problem. Until we care as much about ‘them’ as we do about ‘us’, this cycle will continue. Nice will not be the last terror attack on a Western nation; I think we all know that. But over time, if we can utilise our power as voting citizens to turn our governments against indiscriminate slaughter in non-Western countries- if we can make our governments care about ‘them’ as much as they do about ‘us’- then, and only then, will we find a solution.

SOURCES:
[1]: https://bendittowardjustice.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/coverage-of-terrorism-in-western-vs-non-western-countries/
[2]: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-16/charts-worlds-differing-view-paris-beirut-attacks

EXAMPLES OF BEIRUT ATTACK ARTICLES:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/11/twin-explosions-in-beirut/415635/
http://www.france24.com/en/20151112-several-wounded-two-blasts-dahieh-southern-beirut-lebanon-hezbollah
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/11/12/dozens_killed_in_bombing_targeting_hezbollah_stronghold_in_lebanon.html

EXAMPLES OF PARIS ATTACK ARTICLES:
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/13/world/paris-shooting/
http://www.reuters.com/article/france-shooting-scene-idUSKCN0T30CU20151115#CGm0O3iYRDKpPWue.97
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/14/world/europe/paris-terror-attack.html?mtrref=query.nytimes.com&assetType=nyt_now

Theresa May: A PM for a Modern Age*

* of lying toff twats in power.

THERESA MAY: “it is apparent to anybody who is in touch with the real world that people do not feel our economy works for everyone”; “ordinary members of the public made real sacrifices after the financial crash in 2008”.

THERESA MAY’S VOTING RECORD: voted against calling on the government to get more people into work, voted against introducing a compulsory jobs guarantee, voted against standing up for families in the private rental sector, voted against curbing payday lenders, voted against banking reforms.

THERESA MAY: “Taxes for the lowest paid went down, but other taxes, like VAT went up. Fixed items of spending – like energy bills – have rocketed”.

THERESA MAY’S VOTING RECORD: consistently voted to raise VAT since 2010, voted against acting on soaring energy bills in 2013.

THERESA MAY: “It’s harder than ever for young people to buy their own home”; “there is a growing divide between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation”; “housing matters so much”; “we need to deal with the housing deficit”.

THERESA MAY’S VOTING RECORD: voted against banning estate agents from charging their fees to tenants instead of the person renting out the property, voted against building 100,000 affordable homes, voted against bringing forward long-term infrastructure investment.

THERESA MAY: “It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon or Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to your fellow citizens, you have a responsibility to pay your taxes. So as Prime Minister, I will crack down on individual and corporate tax avoidance and evasion.”

THERESA MAY’S VOTING RECORD: voted against implementing proposals intended to reduce tax avoidance and evasion, voted against giving the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority duties to combat abusive tax avoidance arrangements.

Have fun with your completely unelected Prime Minister, people.

(All of Theresa May’s voting records were accessed via theyworkforyou.com).

BREAKING NEWS: As I was writing this, Boris Johnson was announced as the new Foreign Minister. Jesus twatting Christ. I don’t know about you, but personally I’m looking forward to his next visit to Bongo Bongo Land.

The Chilcot Report a.k.a. Confirming What We All Already Knew

Apologies for the tardiness on this one; I would’ve liked to have been more up-to-date with my blogging but I’ve been away for the past week. Deal with it, you filthy animals.

FINALLY! Something to talk about other than the bleedin’ referendum!

Sadly, it’s something equally as depressing: the results of the inquiry into Britain’s foreign policy regarding the War in Iraq, colloquially termed ‘The Chilcot Report’, have been released. For those of you living under a rock, here are the key points:

  1. Tony Blair ‘deliberately exaggerated’ (read: lied like the big-eared fuckbangling twatmosquito he is) about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
  2. The UK invaded Iraq before all peaceful options had been exhausted.
  3. The UK was not prepared, equipment-wise, for the invasion.
  4. The UK and US did not have a proper plan on how to oversee Iraq postwar.
  5. Relations between the UK and US would not have been harmed had the UK stayed out of the war.

In other words, our politicians lied to us, to persuade us to do something that was not in our best interests, in order to further their own political career, without a coherent exit strategy. Sound familiar? *cough*EUREFERENDUM*cough*

I’m not going to write a huge amount about this debacle because the media have been obsessively covering it over the last few days and I’m not sure what I can write that hasn’t already been said. There are, however, a few things I’d like to say regardless of how unoriginal they are, because I really fucking mean them:

  • Tony Blair and George W. Bush should face trial for their crimes. A ‘crime of aggression’ is when an act of aggression is committed by a political leader in direct violation of the UN Charter. [1] Referring to the list above, if peaceful options were left unexplored, and Blair/Bush deliberately lied to their populace and exaggerated the threat of Saddam, then this suggests two things: firstly, that the war was avoidable, and secondly, that they knew it was avoidable and pursued it anyway. Now, in Article 33 of the UN Charter, it clearly states that an act of aggression should only occur when said act of aggression is clearly and demonstrably unavoidable, and when all non-violent avenues have been exhausted. [2] Ipso facto, the Chilcot Report gives clear evidence that Bush and Blair committed crimes of aggression, and they should be tried accordingly.
  • Sadly, Blair and Bush actually being tried is very unlikely. This is because of various legal complications and loopholes too difficult to explain here. I’d highly recommend reading this article, which does a much better job of explaining it all than I ever could. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look to change and ratify laws to stop this from happening in the future. 179 British soldiers died as a result of the Iraq war, as well as between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians, depending on which reports you believe; millions more Iraqis were displaced from their homes. [3] [4] And it was all completely preventable. We must not allow this to ever occur again.
  • There’s a level of hypocrisy in the attitude of the British media, British culture and, by extension, the average British citizen that is truly astounding. In all of the trauma and terror inflicted by the Iraq war, was there ever a mass Facebook profile picture change or a hashtag made in solidarity for the Iraqis? Was there one when 250 civilians were attacked by ISIS in Baghdad in one of the deadliest terror attacks in history? Nope. But one attack in Paris and suddenly the whole Western world is in mourning. Sorry, I didn’t realise mass murder was only tragic when white people were murdered.
  • Violence begets more violence. Apologies for stating the cunting obvious, but apparently it needs to be stated: if we want groups like ISIS to stop killing people and terrorising the rest of the world, we should probably stop bombing countries like Libya and making the survivors want to join ISIS and seek revenge, yeah? You mangled toff twats.

That’s all for this week. I’ll try and be a bit more uplifting in future but fuck knows it’s hard when the world is in this state. See you later, you filthy animals.

SOURCES:
[1]: http://crimeofaggression.info/role-of-the-icc/definition-of-the-crime-of-aggression/
[2]: http://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/index.html
[3]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10637526
[4]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War