ConDems Show Vicious Neoliberal Principles In Attack On Welfare

Given they both agree cuts which will entail more unemployment they are then further victimising the people they make unemployed, a searingly middle and upper class attitude that is based in the ‘scrounger’ idea that is demonstrably dishonest, they know full well their ideology depends on and creates a pool of unemployed to maintain ‘flexibility’ of labour and to lower labour costs. Nevertheless they convey through corporate media allies to condition people to think those needing welfare are ripping off taxpayers and are unwilling to work, ensuring the astronomically higher corporate and tax fraud figures of their supporters and compadres are kept out of the discourse. One can reasonably define a characteristic of neoliberalism is the scapegoating, the othering, of victims of the ideology in order to misdirect opposition from the -already rich- benefactors of neoliberalism. I have not seen anyone else focus on this part of the deal which perhaps also demonstrates the effectiveness of the ideology in informing opinions on this subject. For some people to be rich under this system it requires many others to remain poor, apparently a taboo issue for the self absorbed upwardly mobile acquisitive consumer puppets of marketing whose souls are owned by Visa.

From Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition deal
The parties agree to end all existing welfare-to-work programmes and to create a single welfare-to-work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.

We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work should be referred to the aforementioned newly created welfare-to-work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants aged under 25 should be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.

The parties agree to realign contracts with welfare-to-work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.

We agree that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare-to-work programmes should be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure.

We agree that receipt of benefits for those able to work should be conditional on the willingness to work.

Green Candidate Wins Colombian Debate, Clegg Is An Alien

Via Otto @ IKN

Green party candidate Antanas Mockus was also interrogated by the other parties’ representatives.

Asked by Cambio Radical’s Vargas Lleras how he would tackle guerrilla activity, especially drug-trafficking, on the border with Venezuela, Mockus replied that a “pedagogical process” was needed and that action should “always be respectful.”

A question posed to all candidates was whether they would permit a repeat of the Colombian army’s attack of FARC guerrillas on Ecuadorian soil two years ago, which resulted in the death of the group’s second-in-command Raul Reyes. Sanin and Santos replied that they would consider similar action.

The remaining candidates said that they would not authorize such a bombardment, which killed 25 people and sparked a diplomatic row with Ecuador.

According to Mockus, who is a self-proclaimed pacifist, the action was “unacceptable” and “the results [of the attack] did not justify the means.”

“At the time I said that the actions had damaged international rights,” said Petro on the raid, while Vargas Lleras admitted that he had supported the operation at the time but would not authorize any such attack on Venezuelan territory.

Closing the debate, Mockus – who was voted the debate’s winner by readers of El Espectador – spoke of his education policies as a means to national prosperit

Meanwhile in the UK, the main two parties are so panicked by Clegg’s popularity a birther movement has been started. No really it is that dumb, unlikely as it is I would not mind Clegg as PM of a Lib/Lab coalition not because I think he will be that much better (he is a Little Orange booker), but because once in power he will behave as all others have, supporters will get disappointed and then the mass of people who realise that what is wrong is not down to which party is in power will grow. The consensus triangulated centre right/right neoliberal corporatocracy can keep up this pantomime indefinitely as long as the supply of chumps = the tiny percentage needed for a party to win an election. Having experienced some more mass media today I see little chance of that small number being threatened as they appear to have replaced journalism with W.C. Fields 3 laws of the grift

“You can’t cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump”

Posted in Politics. Tags: . 2 Comments »

Gangster- Cameron & Murdoch’s Rat Fucker Coulson

The reason that this story is not a big as it deserves to be is because of gangsterism, that is Coulson is a bully, he and/or Cameron and/or Murdoch will have a great deal of dirt on very powerful people, Coulson works for a man who might become PM, he did work for Rupert Murdoch. This dirt is capital in power games, people who might report on this will be made aware of the dirt these rich scumbags have on them and will stay silent rather than have Coulson, Cameron, Murdoch’s media ruin them or leak it to police (who have also cooperated in protecting the principals of this spying and blackmail operation probably both because it hides their failings and also the operation will have got dirt on them). It is pure nationalist ego to think only other countries have gangster problems in their governance. Scumbags like power, they will do anything to get more of it, they live everywhere. We already torture, kill and invade other countries, this to be honest is a very minor aspect of our corruption, nevertheless it is a dirty signpost towards a very unpleasant future if the Tories win power.

David Cameron’s communications director, Andy Coulson, will come under fresh pressure to defend his editorship of the News of the World and his knowledge about the illegal activities of his journalists amid new allegations about the paper’s involvement with private detectives who broke the law.

The Guardian has learned that while Coulson was still editor of the tabloid, the newspaper employed a freelance private investigator even though he had been accused of corrupting police officers and had just been released from a seven-year prison sentence for blackmail.

The private eye was well known to the News of the World, having worked for the paper for several years before he was jailed, when Coulson was deputy editor. He was rehired when he was freed.

Evidence seen by the Guardian shows that Mr A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was blagging bank accounts, bribing police officers, procuring confidential data from the DVLA and phone companies, and trading sensitive material from live police inquiries.

Coulson has always insisted he knew nothing about the illegal activity which took place in the News of the World newsroom, telling MPs last year: “I have never had any involvement in it at all.”

Mr A cannot be named now because he is facing trial for a violent crime, but his details will emerge once he has been dealt with by the courts. Coulson tonight refused to say whether he was aware of Mr A’s criminal background, or of his return to the paper following his prison term. He said: “I have nothing to add to the evidence I gave to the select committee.”

The latest disclosures bring to four the number of investigators known to have worked for the NoW while Coulson was either editor or deputy editor of the paper. All four have since received or had criminal convictions. All four are known to have used illegal methods to gather information.

Posted in Media, Politics. Tags: . 4 Comments »

T. Blair- PeaceMonger!

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is going to play a bigger role in efforts to get Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks by intensifying his partnership with special U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell.

In a written statement, Clinton said she had spoken to Blair on Thursday about developments in the region. As a result of that call, she said Blair would broaden his current role as representative of the so-called Quartet of Mideast peacemakers to “intensify his partnership” with Mitchell in support of the attempt to revive political negotiations.

Mooching around I found this old report at the Guardian which tells a strangely symbolic story –

Memories of Cherie Blair’s outspoken position on Palestine clearly still haunt. In 2002 she was forced to apologise for telling a charity event in London that young Palestinians had “no hope” but to blow themselves up.

Fast forward seven years, to a similar event in the House of Commons next Tuesday: the official launch of the newly created Labour Friends of Palestine (LFP). Their main speaker was due to be Blair … until yesterday, when she pulled out, around two hours after LFP’s inaugural line-up had been publicised.

So far there has been a difference between the government’s line on Gaza 2009 and Lebanon 2006. Back then, Tony Blair attracted criticism (from, among others, the current foreign secretary, David Miliband, who was then the minister at Defra) for not calling for an immediate end to firing and saying Israel must be allowed to defend itself. This month, no such line, and instead the call for an immediate ceasefire.

LFP are broadly pleased with government movement so far, but clearly things are too brittle for candour from Cherie. LFP will, however, do fine without her: speaking will be Jocelyn Hurndall, the mother of activist Tom Hurndall, who was shot dead in Gaza in 2003.

6pm update: We take it back: A friend of Cherie Blair’s has just called to say the reason she won’t be attending the launch is because she’s going to be in America with her husband when he collects the congressional gold medal from George Bush. Apparently, Cherie knew a while back but couldn’t tell LFP that she wouldn’t be around until now.

So she missed the launch of a group that while an attempt at a balancing corrective is tiny compared to Labour Friends of Israel (one T. Blair a member when PM) because Tony was getting his medal for conspiring with Bush, the Neocons and Israel to invade Iraq. Yeah this peace process is fine, no problems at all, what could possibly go wrong…

5 Months of Theatre

As per the weather my connection is faltering so who knows if this gets posted… how thrilling we have 5 months of election pantomime as none of the three parties are significantly deviating from neoliberalism and them and the media have all agreed there must be cuts so orthodox economics that created the problems remains the only religion in town… this is at best an exercise in damage limitation. The Tories and their US borrowed deficit mantra will be vicious and evil, so will New Labour and the LibDems will if they sniff power, it is lesser evilism and please don’t expect me to get excited by it. Given the atrocious possibilities probably what might turn out best is a Labour hold but with no real majority so they have to rely on the LD’s, not because either offer real governence for the people but because left at the wheel on their own they are unconscionable shits. For those on good incomes none make much difference so that’s why the pundit/wonk class in all media (blogs included) can get excited about the small differences, they will not get the sharp end, for those on low incomes and those on welfare or subsidised by it they will be attacked brutally whoever wins, the difference is Tories do it with huge sincere hate filled smiles on their faces and New Labour hide those smiles slightly out of politeness to their abused base.

Harpy is right the priority should be ensure actual leftwing MP’s win-

The most important task for the Left in the upcoming GE is to make sure that the proven socialist MP’s such as John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and Katy Clark remain a voice in Parliament.

Other than that, well for Wales if the Tories win it’s shit both ways, more devolution will make the Tories shit all over Wales in spite, less, and the Tories have power to shit all over Wales more directly, given the options if Cameron is PM I’d like Wales to be less connected to England (although Plaid is subtly split between conservatives and lefties, and the nationalists with conservative ideas worry me). I am on a low income and at times have to rely on welfare so I am simply engaged in survivalism as no party is interested in my continuing to breathe oxygen. I know an eliminationist vibe when I feel it and frankly all of them give the impression they would not mind a few million poor people ceasing to live. In that respect thirty years of neoliberalism have done its cultural job, poverty is because you are a morally bad person, so waste no thoughts on such failures, social darwinism and eugenics are implicit in how the institutions actually work (as opposed to the shiny stated functions) ask a migrant, ask a single parent, ask someone who is despised for surviving on £50 a week, and argue all you like how one party is not really like that but I don’t care what is said, I care about what actually happens and what has happened is thirty years of hate directed at the poorest by the wealthiest. So enjoy your wonky pundit shenanigans, forgive me for not getting excited by the colour of poison chalice I will be handed, I’m thinking about the poison.

PS. And not forgetting in the MP’s/prospective MP’s worth supporting, the great Salma Yaqoob.

Bad Biology & Its Adherents

Worth a read, how neoliberals’ ignorance of science allows them to wilfully misinterpret it to support their selfish pathologies, how social Darwinists are a fraud and chimps like to hug, (the author is rather too rosy in his views of some historic leaders but those are tangental items anyway to his main points). (ht2 James)

How bad biology killed the economy

An unnatural culture of greed and fear has brought the global economy to its knees. We need to start playing to our pro-social strengths, says Frans de Waal

The CEO of Enron – now in prison – happily applied ‘selfish gene’ logic to his human capital, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Assuming that the human species is driven purely by greed and fear, Jeffrey Skilling produced employees driven by the same motives. Enron imploded under the mean-spirited weight of his policies, offering a preview of what was in store for the world economy as a whole.

An avowed admirer of Richard Dawkins’ gene-centric view of evolution, Skilling mimicked natural selection by ranking his employees on a one-to-five scale representing the best (one) to the worst (five). Anyone with a ranking of five got axed, but not without first having been humiliated on a website featuring his or her portrait. Under this so-called ‘Rank & Yank’ policy, people proved perfectly willing to slit one another’s throats, resulting in a corporate atmosphere marked by appalling dishonesty within and ruthless exploitation outside the company.

The deeper problem, however, was Skilling’s view of human nature. The book of nature is like the Bible: everyone reads into it what they like, from tolerance to intolerance and from altruism to greed. But it’s good to realise that, if biologists never stop talking about competition, this doesn’t mean that they advocate it, and if they call genes selfish, this doesn’t mean that genes actually are. Genes can’t be any more ‘selfish’ than a river can be ‘angry’ or sun rays ‘loving’. Genes are little chunks of DNA. At most, they are self-promoting, because successful genes help their carriers spread more copies of themselves.

Like many before him, Skilling had fallen hook, line and sinker for the selfish-gene metaphor, thinking that if our genes are selfish, then we must be selfish, too. He can be forgiven, however, because even if this is not what Dawkins meant, it is hard to separate the world of genes from the world of human psychology if our terminology deliberately conflates them.

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Kweshtuning Times

Last month James Macintyre, a former producer on Question Time, revealed in the New Statesman that the programme’s makers wanted Griffin on the panel two years ago, long before the BNP’s limited breakthrough in the summer. To its credit the BBC resisted at first the naïve showbiz instincts of some who run the independent production company that is responsible for Question Time. According to Macintyre the company, Mentorn, persisted for two years and finally got the go ahead from the BBC. This suggests that Mentorn wanted what Peter Hain calls a “beanfest” for reasons well removed from the BBC’s charter obligations.

Excerpt from Macintyre’s piece-

Yet such was the controversy into which the BBC had plunged itself that the corporation’s bosses found themselves spinning lines on behalf of the BNP. After Hain wrote to the BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson, to point out that the BNP was an “unlawful” entity with a whites-only membership policy, Thompson seemed to leap to Griffin’s defence. Following legal advice sought by the BBC, he said, “the [BNP] is not prevented from continuing to operate on a day-to-day basis”. Ric Bailey, the BBC’s omnipresent chief political adviser, went further in claiming, without evidence, that the corporation could have been challenged in the courts had it not hosted Griffin on Question Time, since it had, in Thompson’s words, an “obligation to scrutinise and hold to account all elected representatives”. Bailey also resorted to the electoral argument: the BNP had to be represented on Question Time, he said, because it “won more than 6 per cent of the vote across Britain – approaching a million people”.

None of these positions bears scrutiny. First, as I revealed last month, Question Time wanted to host Griffin as early as 2007. At the time, I was working as a producer on the show, and this was long before the BNP’s electoral “breakthrough”. Much has been made of the BNP’s “million votes” in June’s European elections but, nationally, its vote share was a tiny 6.2 per cent – up 1.3 per cent on 2004. The BNP benefited from a collapse in the Labour vote. And, as Hain told me: “The BBC’s argument is threadbare. The logic of saying that a million votes gets you a place on Question Time is that if, say, [the Islamist cleric] Abu Hamza formed a party and attracted that support, he would go on.”

Second, there was never any “obligation”, legal or otherwise, to invite Griffin on to the BBC’s most popular current-affairs show, any more than there is an “obligation” for Griffin to appear on Ready Steady Cook. The BBC’s current-affairs output has to be impartial and balanced but, as I argued at internal meetings in 2007, the main problem is the format: it is difficult not to have a “good” Question Time. It was far better having the BNP on Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today programme. Labour’s Jon Cruddas, who confronts the BNP threat daily in his Dagenham constituency, has pointed out that the BBC could have given Griffin “45 minutes with John Humphrys or Andrew Neil”.

I think though Chicken Yoghurt makes an excellent point, please go and see it in full but basically all the things you can accuse the BNP of believing in Jack Straw puts into action. Yes it’s a retrograde step to have the BNP on but so is lying a country into war and torture and not holding the political class to account for 30 years of neoliberal attacks on British society that has created the opportunity for the BNP to rise. I think the protest outside the BBC is a stirring example of British people’s passion for an inclusive democracy.

However no platform was under threat once the bar to entry for media was lowered by the web, BNP idiots thrive on conspiracy theories and being barred from mainstream media feeds this. They should not be treated as any other party, a clever and considered lancing of the boil, a concerted exposure that would deflate the lies of the activists and the paranoid theories of supporters seems the least worst choice. But what chance of the corporate media doing this?

Question Time is not the best venue to expose Griffin’s fascism, they are not a political party like any other, they are a group that support right wing white male belligerent supremacy and will cheerfully lie to gain support from people who should -but apparently don’t- know better. I think the mainstream broadcasters should have taken the BNP to task, fact check them and expose the criminal activity and links to open Nazi groups worldwide, however corporate media rarely acts like that in respect of right wing parties. The BBC news on now has done some of this but it is not confronting Griffin with it. The Question Time format is too easy for Griffin to escape scrutiny, let Paxman or Humphrys do an in depth interview with a follow up fact check, because again the key aspect of fascists is they use ‘noble lies’ to further their objectives. I would also ask that white people particularly  white men (as I am) think about their entitlement and how that makes Griffins loathsome but perhaps, to some, not as viscerally abhorrent as it does to people of colour. It is telling all the senior people who would have made this decision in the BBC & Mentorn (incidentally from my time pottering around the industry in the 90’s they had a terrible reputation for how they treated their employees & free lancers at that time) are white males, affluent ones at that. It’s possible Question Time will surprise us and Griffin will be exposed for the scumbag he is and his party for the racist fascist rump of losers that they are, history warns us that might not be the case and media analysis also suggests how such media institutionally fail to treat the right wing with due objectivity and scepticism.

Simply from my observation of the media today it is hard not to see an element of this entitled bias in action, endless -mostly- male white journalist and presenters applying their usual tools to the issue as if fascism was an ideology as legitimate as any other and repeatedly mentioning how ‘1 million’ people voted BNP in the Euro election. How is it that media that are happy to ignore the beliefs of millions more when they are environmental groups, anti war or anti corporate or anti neoliberalism are suddenly are falling over themselves to care about what 1 million hateful chumps want? A gender and racial bias that remains unchallenged at a personal and institutional level is to me rather obvious here, there is also a class bias, the BNP target deprived areas, they are a scourge among people the political establishment already ignores and despite what the media keeps repeating it is not the white working class it is the working class! The BNP can exploit divide and rule because the entire working and lower middle class of all races do not get representation in the one ideology politics of consensus happy clappy neoliberal corporatocracy land UK plc. What the BNP spread is violent, community destroying lies among people already under attack from the establishment. So again I see a certain elite group of people who are really not that affected by the BNP whatever may happen making the decisions (there seems to some foregrounding of black presenters by the beeb tonight but they are not the decision makers).

I think no platform was -sadly- going to fail, the technology, the needs of churnalistic corporate media was seeing to that, but the BBC has failed to approach the challenge suitably and that was probably the best prospect there was for a responsible approach among broadcasters (props to CH4 News, but what is their reach?). So, yes this could be a moment we will look back on as the Mainstreaming of Fascism.

To be honest at the best of times I can barely stand to watch Question Time so I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it, I will try and if so will be also online here -open thread!- & on Twitter along with many others expressing our feelings.