Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Daily Mail totally lost the plot over this Martin Rowson cartoon


The Daily Mail are well renowned for their bizarre front page tantrums (remember "enemies of the people" or "who will speak for Britain") but their latest bizarre editorial decrying the Guardian as the "fascist left" over the Martin Rowson Finsbury Park cartoon is absolutely ludicrous reality-denying nonsense that just shows how completely rattled the Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre must be to have allowed such ridiculous drivel to appear in his propaganda sheet.

There's so mach wrong with this humiliating toddler tantrum of an editorial it's going to have to be broken down into sections.

The Daily Mail's history of fascism

You would have thought that a publication with a shameful history of propagandising for Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany and Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists would be somewhat reticent about calling other people fascists, but no. 


They have no sense of shame at the extreme-right leanings of their publication, and assume their audience to be so staggeringly ill-informed that they won't spot the irony of a propaganda rag that has championed Nazism, fascism and other extreme-right ideologies for the best part of a Century accusing others of being divisive fascists.

The unspeakable woman

It's only a few weeks since the unspeakable woman published a Tweet calling for a "final solution" to the Muslim problem


She was sacked by LBC for her deliberate use of Nazi language that could obviously be interpreted as a call for a modern day Holocaust against Muslims, but somehow the Daily Mail decided to keep her as a columnist.

Any publication that considers it appropriate for their columnists to provoke anti-Muslim hatred by using Nazi Holocaust rhetoric against them is really skating on thin ice when they try to accuse others of having "fascist" tendencies.

The big lie


Amazingly a propaganda rag with a history of promoting fascism accusing others of having "fascist" tendencies isn't even the most ridiculous thing about this deranged Daily Mail editorial. 


The most ludicrous thing of all is the part where they openly lie that The Daily Mail newspaper and the Mail Online website are totally separate entities, even though everyone knows they share almost identical content, written by the same staff, and are operated by the same publisher Associated Newspapers. 

You can see that they are sister companies just by looking at the Associated Newspapers accounts.

Why lie?

The fact that the Daily Mail newspaper has resorted to concocting the most transparent of lies in order to distance themselves from the unspeakable woman is an absolutely clear demonstration that they know perfectly well that they're guilty of radicalising people with their extreme-right propaganda, because why else would they invent such a silly lie to cover their complicity if they didn't feel they had something to hide?

People with nothing to be ashamed of generally don't make up obvious lies in order to shield themselves from criticism.


Unintentional satire

"Fake news" blares Daily Mail headline for an article in which they blatantly lie to their own readers that the Daily Mail and Mail Online are totally separate entities!

You couldn't get a better example of unintentional satire than an article entitled "fake news" that blatantly and brazenly lies to the reader.


The disgusting track record

The absurd effort to create a fictional firewall between the Daily Mail and the Mail Online is a clear indicator of guilt, but even if this lie were true and the Daily Mail had nothing to do with Mail Online content, there's still absolutely mountains of evidence that the Daily Mail spreads hateful divisive extreme-right propaganda on the front page of their newspaper.



Just look at the absolute state of this and wonder how on earth the editor who published all of this divisive (and often downright misleading) anti-immigrant rhetoric on their front page could have the brass neck to complain that there isn't "a shred of evidence" that the Daily Mail fan the flames of Islamophobia and racism, let alone accuse anyone else of being "purveyors of hate".

Offensive cartoons




One of the most incredible things about this Daily Mail tantrum over the Martin Rowson cartoon in the Guardian is that the Daily Mail have a track record of printing absolutely outrageous cartoons that ape Nazi cartoons of the 1930s by depicting refugees as rats.


Imagine the sickening hypocrisy of an editor who sees fit to publish Nazi-style cartoons aimed at dehumanising refugees who then has a massive tantrum over a cartoon that highlights this kind of extreme-right Daily Mail fanaticism as a potential causal factor in the extreme-right terror attack in Finsbury Park.


The Guardian letter

Aside from spewing outrage at the Martin Rowson cartoon, the Daily Mail editorial also lambastes Owen Jones for calling the Daily Mail an open sewer and quotes from a letter from a Guardian reader that claims that "if any actual person stood in the street shouting the sort of bile this paper produces daily, they could be prosecuted for hate speech".

The funny thing is that they're so delusional that they actually think the majority of the population would disagree with the characterisation of the Daily Mail as the sewer press, or with the idea that ordinary people publicly inciting hatred in the way the Daily Mail do would likely be arrested.

How out of touch with reality must they be to actually publish such stingingly accurate criticism of the Daily Mail in their own newspaper?

  Austerity denialism

The Daily Mail editorial tries to claim that the only reason they continually whip up hatred against immigrants is that they want to "relieve pressure of numbers on school places, hospital beds, wages, housing, transport and infrastructure".

All but the most numbskulled amongst us know that the biggest pressure on all of these things isn't immigration, but actually Tory austerity dogma.

In seven years of Tory rule the Tories have shut down dozens of A&E departments, walk in centres and maternity wards, gutted social care, slashed mental health spending, and reduced the number of NHS beds by at least 12,000.

Since 2010 the Tory government have deliberately repressed the wages of millions of workers ensuring the most severe decline in the value of UK workers' wages since records began. Other countries with much higher levels of immigration, but less austerity madness, have seen the value of their workers' wages rise.

Between 2010 and 2017 the Tory government oversaw the lowest levels of house building since the early 1920s. The fact that the allowed the biggest influx of migrants in UK history at the same time obviously didn't help the situation, but the catastrophic housing policy failures of the Tory party are far more to blame for housing shortages than immigration.

Again, the main cause of problems with British transport and infrastructure are not caused by immigration but by Tory ideological extremism. The rail and bus networks are disgracefully over-priced shambles because of botched Tory privatisation scams, and since 2010 the Tories have been trashing the future economic potential of the UK and ensuring we get left behind in the global economic race by deliberately under-investing in infrastructure spending.

If the Daily Mail gave the slightest bit of genuine concern over any of these issues, then they wouldn't be blaming these issues exclusively on immigrants, they'd be supporting the Labour Party manifesto that proposes to take serious action to actually address these problems (as well as introducing a migrant impact fund to improve services and infrastructure in areas that have had high levels of immigration).


But no, the Daily Mail are nothing more than the propaganda arm of the Tory party that has caused all of this damage with their privatisation mania and their socially and economically ruinous fixation with hard-right austerity dogma.

The reason the Daily Mail continually blame immigrants for all of these problems is that it deflects the blame away from their beloved Tories.

Victim complexing

The extreme-right are increasingly reliant on the tactic of inflating people's senses of self-pity so that they end up walking around with victim complexes the size of hot air balloons.

This bizarre Daily Mail editorial tries to make out that it's not the people killed or injured in any of the four terrorist outrages over the last three months who are victims, but actually the poor maligned readers of the Daily Mail for the way the nasty lefties accuse them of reading a divisive extreme-right hate comic.

The Daily Mail have worked tirelessly to create massive victim complexes in their readers, and this attempt to portray Daily Mail readers as the poor delicate victims of society is their attempted payoff.

Forget the victims of terrorism; forget the victims of Tory austerity dogma; forget the disabled people who have been systematically abused in disability denial factories; forget the UK workforce who have seen their wages eroded away worse than any developed nation apart from crisis-stricken Greece; forget the 400,000+ extra kids growing up in poverty since 2010; forget all the people who have had their local services shut down; forget the millions stuck in ever-growing NHS queues; forget the victims of Grenfell tower; forget the victims of the post-Brexit spike in violent hate crime ...

Forget them all - because the true victims are the poor maligned Daily Mail readers who must be so terribly upset that other people would dare to suggest that they might possibly
be horrible people because they choose to read such an undeniably horrible newspaper.

Conclusion

I've been very critical of the Guardian in recent years over their lazy recycling of pro-austerity dogma and their relentless editorial attacks on progressive politics, but their cartoonists (especially Martin Rowson and Steve Bell) have continued to do fantastic work. 

So in conclusion I think we should all say a big thank you and congratulations to the cartoonist Martin Rowson for triggering the Daily Mail into publishing such a blatantly unhinged diatribe.



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Theresa May has finally admitted that she was talking Orwellian nonsense during the election campaign


After trying to sell the country the absurd Orwellian narrative that the nation is wonderfully united, Theresa May has finally been forced to admit that we're actually more divided than ever.

To go from talking about unity and how the country is "coming together" in April to admitting that "our country is divided: red versus blue; young versus old; leave versus remain" in June is quite some turnaround, but despite identifying three of the significant divisions she tried to deny during the election campaign, she missed the biggest division of all, the division between the mega-rich and the rest of us.

Red vs Blue

Theresa May is right that the country is divided between Tory and Labour support. Labour's 40% share of the vote would have been enough to finish with a parliamentary majority in any election since 1979, but they came second to the Tories 42% vote share (obviously also enough to win a significant majority in any other election).

When it comes to support for hard-right austerity dogma and investment-based economics the divide is even more stark, with 14.5 million people backing hard-right austerity parties (Tories, UKIP, DUP) and 14.5 million backing  pro-investment parties (Labour, SNP, Green, Plaid Cymru).

Young vs Old


 There has been a massive change in British politics. Ever since universal suffrage the best predictor of voting intention was always social class, with the Tories generally favoured by the wealthier classes, and the Labour Party generally favoured by the working poor.

The Scottish independence vote in 2014, the Brexit vote in 2016 and Theresa May's vanity election have revealed a massive change, with age now becoming a much stronger indicator of voting intention than social class.

If it was up to the working age population of Scotland to decide their future then the result would have been too close to call, but pensioners swung the vote in favour of the union by voting 73% - 27% for continued Scottish subservience to Westminster (the way the newspapers told them to vote).

In 2016 the roles were reversed with the young voting to retain the benefits of EU membership and the older generations voting to sign a blank contract with the hard-right of the Tory party to make Brexit up as they go along (the way the newspapers told them to vote).

In 2017 the under-45s voted heavily in favour of investment economics, repatriation of public services and a cooperative approach to the Brexit negotiations, while the older generations voted heavily in favour of more austerity dogma, more privatisation of public services, and Theresa May's belligerent and antagonistic approach to the Brexit negotiations (the way the newspapers told them to vote).

The country has never been more divided between the rich and the poor, but the situation as exists now is clearly a demographic timebomb for the regressive right as ever more young people will join the electoral register, and ever more elderly people will fall off it as they die (the Tory grandee Michael Heseltine reckons the Tories will lose 2% of their voters per year in this way).

Leave vs Remain

The country is still split down the middle on whether they think Brexit is a good idea, but one thing we are pretty strongly united on is recognition that a "no deal" Tory strop away from the negotiating table would be a catastrophe for the United Kingdom.

The economic damage from a chaotic flounce out of Europe would be bigger than the consequences of the 2007-08 financial sector insolvency crisis (that we still haven't recovered from), and what's more, it would trigger economic fallout on the global scale, for which Britain and the British people would be held directly responsible for allowing it to happen.

Characterising the Brexit debate as a binary Leave vs Remain debate is a very poor oversimplification in a situation which is much better seen as a choice between a catastrophic nuclear Brexit, and any other option (hard Brexit, soft Brexit, Swiss style Brexit, no Brexit ...).

Mega-rich vs the rest of us

The biggest divide in British society is the division between the vast majority of ordinary people and the mega-rich class who completely bankroll the Tory party.

Since the financial crisis UK workers have suffered the longest sustained decline in the value of our wages since records began, 400,000+ more kids are growing up in poverty, local services have been slashed to the bone, in-work benefits and social welfare for disabled people have been cut time and time again ...

Meanwhile the Tories have lavished one handout after another on corporations and the mega-rich, meaning that while the rest of us have carried the burden of Tory austerity dogma, the mega-rich elitists have more than doubled their wealth.

Labour's transformative manifesto was aimed at reducing this widening division between the mega-rich and the rest of us, and Theresa May's manifesto of misery was aimed at snatching even more wealth and opportunity from the majority of us in order to lavish even more handouts on corporations and the super rich.

It's obvious why Theresa May decided to avoid mentioning the division between the mega-rich and the rest of us. She knows as well as anyone who has been paying the remotest bit of attention that the Tory party have spent the last seven years widening that division by transferring as much wealth as possible from the majority of us to the tiny mega-rich minority.

Theresa May doesn't want us thinking about this particular division, because if we do, we'd obviously want to sling the Tory party out of power for what they've done, and make sure they never come back again.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Right-wing smear merchants are attacking Jeremy Corbyn for Theresa May's blunder


A number of right-wing websites and commentators have exploded in displays of synthetic outrage that Jeremy Corbyn didn't bow to the Queen during the opening of parliament.

Parliamentary protocol is that the speaker and Black Rod bow to the Queen on behalf of the whole house, meaning that the party leaders do not have to bow.


As you can see from the video below Theresa May is the one who got parliamentary protocol all wrong by bowing when she wasn't supposed to, but right-wing blowhards like the Guido Fawkes blog are now using her ignorant protocol blunder to whip up a massive storm of indignant right-wing faux outrage against Jeremy Corbyn!
The sad thing is that there are loads of totally gullible people out there who will believe that Corbyn was disrespecting the Queen by following parliamentary protocol, and that Theresa May is brilliant for the way she ignorantly snubbed parliamentary tradition.

Nobody should be too bothered about Theresa May ignoring parliamentary protocol, after all the whole Queen's speech thing is a ridiculous and anachronistic farce which should have no place in any modern democracy. But we should all take note of the right-wing blogs and news outlets who turned Theresa May's blunder into a reason to launch attacks on Jeremy Corbyn for supposedly lacking patriotism.

People who are willing to completely distort reality in order to score cheap political points exist in the absolute sewer of journalistic standards.

If you see any website or newspaper sharing these "Corbyn didn't bow" attacks, you'll have all the evidence you'll even need that those organisations are representatives of the right-wing sewer press, and should never be taken as reliable news sources.


This "Corbyn didn't bow" attack line can be seen as a kind of kite mark of the right-wing sewer press, marking them out as the kind of news organisations that should never be considered reliable sources under any circumstance.


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Theresa May's first Queen's speech was a total shambles


Theresa May's first, and almost certainly last, Queen's speech was every bit the shambles you would expect from a directionless charlatan with no ideology other than a self-serving desperation to cling onto power at any cost.


The May-DUP deal

Theresa May delayed the Queen's speech in order to buy herself time to make a deal with the DUP. The Tories then failed to agree a deal with their right-wing ideological blood brothers, and then the speech went ahead without the deal in place.

I'm not going to walk you down the garden path to conclusions about Theresa May's competence and deal-making abilities. Just think about it for yourself.

Even if this May-DUP deal does go ahead before the Queen's speech is voted on, it will clearly be a demonstration that Theresa May is willing to sling literally anything on her bonfire of vanity, even peace in Northern Ireland.


Ripping up their own manifesto


One of the most extraordinary aspects of Theresa May's vanity election was the way she wilted under public pressure and began ripping pages out of her own manifesto before the polls had even opened.

She backpedalled furiously on her depraved proposal to impose a 100% stealth inheritance tax for people who get frail in their old age and need social care, and the pledge to provide infant school children breakfast at 6.8p per day was also bunged into the shredder too.


The Queen's speech revealed that both of these Tory policies have gone, as have many others from their manifesto of misery including their plans to scrap the pensioners' triple lock and to means test winter fuel payments, their plot to bring back fox hunting, and their scheme to bring back educational apartheid based on exam results at the age of 11.

Other things that were dropped were promises of 10,000 more mental health nurses (impossible after Theresa May's scrapping of NHS bursaries drove 10,000 trainee nurses out of the profession in a single year), the plan to nick Ed Miliband's energy price cap idea, and the plan to scrap the independent Serious Fraud Office in order to give the Tory government control over financial corruption cases.

Making it up as they go along


The way the British political system usually works is that the parties present their proposed legislative agendas in their manifestos, the people vote, and then the party with the most seats outlines their legislative agenda in the Queen's speech.


By ditching so many policies from their manifesto for their pared-back Queen's speech, the Tories are signalling their intent to just make it all up as they go along for as long as they can cling onto power.

What is the point of parties bothering to write manifestos at all if they just sling them in the bin after they get elected and then do whatever the hell they want to?


Any MP who votes in favour of Theresa May's Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to allow Theresa May and the Tories to simply make things up as they go along.

The Brexit U-turn

Theresa May has been warned in no uncertain terms by dozens of her Europhile Tory backbenchers that an economically ruinous "no deal" Brexit strop is now out of the question

As a result of this internal Tory rebellion the Queen's speech makes absolutely no mention whatever of her diplomatically inept "no deal is better than a bad deal" threat to explode an economic bomb over Britain and the EU if she doesn't get her own way, and all we get instead is a platitude about making a success of Brexit.

Theresa May is now dancing to the tune of her backbenchers, but the Tory party is brutally divided between hard Brexit fanatics like Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and John Redwood, and the Europhile MPs.

If Theresa May manages to get her Queen's speech through then it's going to be fascinating to see the absurd political contortions she is going to have to do in order to satisfy both of these ideologically incompatible factions, both of which will have the power to bring her weak and unstable government to its knees at pretty much any point.


Any MP who votes in favour of Theresa May's Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to foist an incredibly weak, unstable and ideologically divided government on the UK.

Attacking Internet freedom 
"A commission for countering extremism will be established to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to spread."
Theresa May is absolutely fixated on controlling the Internet. She piggybacks this right-wing authoritarian agenda onto every single terrorist attack, even when there's no evidence whatever that the attacks could have been prevented by revoking Internet freedom.

If Theresa May had any real concerns over public safety from terrorism then she would use existing legislation to prosecute the appalling hate speech and glorification of terrorism that goes on in places like the Britain First hate group, and she certainly wouldn't have allowed known jihadists to go completely unwatched as they planed and executed their deadly terrorist attacks.

The real reason Theresa May dislikes Internet freedom is that it allows people to discuss and debate politics outside the narrow spectrum of right-wing opinion that is deemed acceptable by the mainstream media.

She knows that she lost her majority because the Internet is allowing people to break down the right-wing propaganda tropes that have dominated UK political discourse for decades, so she wants to stamp it out and return to the time when fanatical Tory hard-right economic dogma was subjected to virtually no scrutiny whatever. It's an impossible fantasy, but since when have realism and groundedness ever been factors in Theresa May's political calculations before?

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May destroy the freedom of the Internet for her own right-wing authoritarian political purposes.

Attacking democracy
"A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses."
Another horrifying announcement in the Queen's speech is that the Tories are actually intent on continuing with their anti-democratic effort to completely bypass parliament and allow Tory ministers to rewrite the laws of the land as they see fit.

The anti-democratic Tory repeal bill is an absolute affront to democracy. 

Only the most hypocritical of Brexiters could possibly try to argue that Tory ministers rewriting the laws of the land without any parliamentary scrutiny whatever is a price worth paying to end the supposedly anti-democratic influence of the EU.

Either you think parliament should be sovereign, or you think that government ministers should be allowed to make up the law of the land as they go along with no parliamentary scrutiny whatever.

 You simply can't believe both unless you're 100% immune to cognitive dissonance.

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May and the Tories destroy British democracy by rewriting the laws of the land to suit themselves with no democratic scrutiny whatever.

Britain for sale
"My government will work to attract investment in infrastructure to support economic growth"
This particular part of the Queen's speech should leap out to anyone who understands the Tory track record on investment. Since 2010 the Tories have ruthlessly and recklessly cut back on infrastructure and investment meaning that the UK is getting left further and further behind in the global economy.

The UK spends only 1.7% of GDP investing for the future when the average amongst developed nations is around 3%. This deliberate ideologically driven under-investment will have devastating consequences for our future economic prospects.

When the Tories talk about "attracting investment", they don't mean that they're going to invest in the UK economy at all, it means that they're going to go around the world begging countries like Qatar, Oman, the UAE and China into buying our public infrastructure.

In November 2016 Theresa May's government handed our publicly owned aviation fuel distribution network directly to the governments of Oman and the UAE. In March 2017 the Tories handed the Southwestern rail franchise to the government of Hong Kong, and later in March 2017 Theresa May begged and grovelled in front of the Qataris for them to buy up even more British infrastructure.

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May and the Tories requisition even more publicly owned British infrastructure and services to distribute to foreign governments.

An authoritarian with no authority

Theresa May's vanity election has reduced her to the ridiculous position of being a savage right-wing authoritarian with no authority.

Even if the DUP decide to put their own party interests above the interests of the United Kingdom by voting through Theresa May's economically treasonous, Internet freedom-attacking, democracy-hating Queen's speech, she'll still be left in an incredibly weak position where she will have to dance to the whims of her bitterly divided Tory backbenchers to keep them in line, and every move she makes will be subject to approval by the DUP.

Any politician with any regard for the best interests of the United Kingdom would not vote in favour of Theresa May's shambolic Queen's speech, but then the Tories will always put their own party political interests above the interests of the nation as a whole, meaning it's only the DUP who have the power to prevent Theresa May from forming a government that is both full of malicious intent, but also so weak and unstable they'll be completely unable to run the country or the Brexit negotiations effectively.


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Meet the liar Vicky Ford


Emboldened by the absolute flood of lies told during the EU referendum debate the Tories came to believe that they can outright lie to the public with total impunity.

During Theresa May's vanity election they lied over and again. 

Theresa May herself was one of the worst culprits of all, lying about Diane Abbott, lying about Labour's immigration policies, and lying that she would quit as Prime Minister and let Jeremy Corbyn take over the Brexit negotiations if the Tories lost just 6 seats (they lost 13).

The Tory campaign of lies and smears resulted in the Tories losing their majority, and a massive surge of Labour Party support amongst the under-45s (a demographic time bomb that looks set to lock the Tories out of power in the long-term), but they still haven't learned their lesson that ever growing numbers of people are completely sick of political lies and Murdoch style muck-raking.

The newly elected Tory MP in the super-safe seat of Chelmsford Vicky Ford doesn't seem to have learned this lesson about political integrity.

In a Sky TV interview less than two weeks after the chastening Tory losses she decided to outright lie that leading Labour Party politicians have been "calling for riots on our streets"

Here's what John McDonnell actually said (which is obviously precisely the opposite of what Vicky Ford's claims):

Presumably she thinks that she's now got such a safe Tory seat that she can lie to the British public like this with complete impunity.

The mainstream media obviously won't hold her to account for lying to the public like this, so it's up to the public to make sure she doesn't get away with it.

Just as the disgraced Liam Fox will always be referred to as the disgraced Liam Fox for having allowed his special friend Adam Werrity to snoop on classified meetings and documents (behaviour which would have seen any ordinary civil servant or soldier jailed), I'm now going to refer to Vicky Ford at all times as the liar Vicky Ford as if it's her official title, and I hope you do too.

If enough of us do this then perhaps she'll learn that making up political lies does far more damage to her own reputation than to the people she was trying to slur.


We should also remember that the people of Chelmsford elected a liar, and that if they re-elect her at the next election, then they'll mark themselves out as a disgraceful town that actively endorses political liars and political lies.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Britain First followers' reactions to the Finsbury Park attack are as sick as you'd imagine


Glorifying terrorism is a criminal act, as is conspiring to raise funds for terrorists.

If it turns out that the Britain First supporting Finsbury Park attacker is found guilty of terrorism then an awful lot of people who follow the Britain First hate group have clearly been ignoring UK law by celebrating his act of terrorism, and by conspiring to raise funds for him and others who commit similar acts of terrorism.

I've taken screen shots of some of the most sickening comments in the Britain First hate chambe since the Finsbury Park attack was committed.

If the Britain First supporting Finsbury Park attacker is convicted of terrorism, then all of these people should be investigated under the 2006 Terrorism Act (which bans the celebration and glorification of terrorism) and under the 2000 Terrorism Act (which prohibits funding terrorism and inciting acts of terrorism).



The above comments are sick enough, and a lot of them are clear cut examples of Britain First followers glorifying terrorism, but some Britain First followers have gone even further by conspiring to raise money for the Finsbury Park attacker and others who commit similar atrocities.


The top comment by Andy Hackett is a clear proposal to offer extreme-right fanatics a financial inducement to carry out acts of terrorism.

Unfortunately the UK legal authorities have no real interest in clamping down on the hate-mongering that Britain First encourage and host on their Facebook page, and Facebook are more concerned with censoring trivial stuff like bad language and female nipples than preventing their platform being used to celebrate acts of terrorism, spread vile anti-Muslim bigotry and even raise funds to support people who commit acts of extreme-right terrorism.

If it was the other way around and it was Salafi Islamist fanatics praising acts of terrorism, spreading anti-Western bigotry and conspiring to raise funds for Islamist terrorism suspects then the UK authorities and Facebook would surely take a very different approach, and the British media would be up in arms about it.


If the boot fits for Islamist hate chambers, then it should fit for extreme-right hate chambers too. But somehow in Britain one form of extremism is condemned and taken seriously, whilst far-right extremism is dealt with such kid gloves that right-wing extremists feel that they can publicly praise terror attacks, and even openly conspire to raise funds to induce people into committing extreme-right terrorist acts with total impunity.

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The Tory quibbling over sprinkler systems is shamelessly hypocritical


On Sunday 18th June 2017 the Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer displayed an extraordinary level of contempt for ordinary people by quibbling with Andrew Marr over the effectiveness of sprinkler systems.

Andrew Marr had asked him why a succession of Tory housing ministers had spent four years sitting on a report into the Lakanal House fire in 2009 that recommended the retrofitting of sprinkler systems in high rise residential buildings.

Hammond's absurd response was that the government had needed to do more research into whether sprinkler systems are effective fire safety measures.

The Fire Brigade Union claims that there have never been multiple fire fatalities in a building with a sprinkler system, and common sense says that a system for spraying water onto the fire would at the very least allow people more time to exit the building.

But no. 


Under the political shadow of the burned out shell of Grenfell tower the Tory Chancellor tried to argue that the residents of the 4,000+ high rise residential towers without sprinkler systems don't need sprinkler systems until the Tory party are satisfied that there is enough evidence that they are a useful fire safety feature!

When it comes to the safety of ordinary people (or the "lower orders" as they think of us) the Tory mentality there is no precautionary principle, nor even any common bloody sense.


Safety recommendations for the buildings we live in should be shelved and delayed as long as possible, and even after a disastrous fire that killed dozens of people in their homes, longstanding fire safety recommendations should be quibbled over as "complex technical issues" and subjected to as much doubt as possible.
There is no such quibbling or reticence about common sense and the precautionary principle when it comes to their own lives though.

At about the same time as the Lakanal House related fire safety report first landed on a Tory desk the government were drawing up plans for the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament, and lo and behold, their refurbishment plans include a wonderful new sprinkler system at a cost of £1.3 million to the taxpayer.

For some reason the Tories didn't immediately begin quibbling over the proposed sprinkler system for their own workplace and demanding ever more technical evidence that sprinkler systems help to suppress fires and reduce fire mortality rates.

When it comes to their own safety money is clearly no object. But when it comes to the "lower orders" then it's one delaying tactic after another, even after dozens of people were killed in exactly the kind of fire the Tory government were repeatedly warned about.

This Tory hypocrisy doesn't just show utter contempt for the residents of Britain's 4,000+ tower blocks without sprinkler systems, Hammond's quibbling over the effectiveness of sprinklers for tower blocks while his own place of employment is getting one at the taxpayers' expense displays absolute contempt for us all.

How on earth can this guy justify demanding more evidence that sprinklers work before money is spent to protect the lives of ordinary people when he made no such demands when it came to fitting a sprinkler system that he personally benefits from?

It's not just that Hammond and his Tory chums clearly and undeniably put their extremist hard-right austerity dogma above public safety (not just fire safety cutbacks either, consider the 20,000 axed police jobs and their incompetent neglect of NHS cyber security too), it's that they're such brazen hypocrites about it.

If they genuinely don't believe that there is sufficient evidence that sprinkler systems are a useful fire safety measure for high occupancy buildings, they must immediately demand the removal of the proposed sprinkler system from the Houses of Parliament refurbishment plans.

If they want to keep their own sprinkler system then they should admit that they're actually useful common sense fire safety measures and begin implementing the recommendations of the fire safety report they've been sitting on for four years.

anything other than these two options would be yet another display of toxic Tory hypocrisy.



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