Read it and weep folks
A new IMF report compared the balance sheets of the world’s nations and found that Britain has one of the worst.
Britain has tumbled down the rankings significantly since the Global Financial Crash of 2008.
Whilst part of the reason the UK measures up so badly these days is thanks to the bank bailouts, and pension liabilities, the IMF identified the privatization of vast swathes of our public assets since the 1980’s as a significant contributing factor to the current atrocious state of our nation’s balance sheet.
The report didn’t mince it’s words, stating that the promises made to us when the Tories justified the sell off off assets (owned not by them, but by all of us remember) were ‘illusory’ – In other words they were big fat lies.
Funnily enough the left has been arguing for years that the privatision of public assets and services is no less than state sanctioned robbery and would be a disaster for the country.
Looks like we were right (again!)
Oops… Conservative Minister of State for the Department for Education, Nick Gibbs has tried to defend Conservative cuts to education spending whereby a protest of a thousand head teachers took to the streets to complain about schools being pushed to the point of collapse due to austerity. He claims the UK is “third highest spender on education in the world”, however since saying this it has come to light he includes privately paid tuition fees in that figure.
You may or may not know that Nick Gibbs voted in 2010 to treble university tuition fees to £9,000 a year.
Given this disingenuous use of statistics we can almost see how he could benefit from having students pay astronomical sums of money for their education – if he was including the over-inflated price of their fees in his own spending claims. Let’s remember he’s doing this to paint the picture the Conservative’s are spending enough on education. Paul Whiteman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “We have consistently argued that funding for schools is down by 8% in real terms. The National Audit Office agrees, the Institute of Fiscal Studies agrees, parents can see it is true, as can the electorate.”
We don’t imagine being told the UK is third biggest education spender in the world has helped one bit toward assuaging the concerns of teachers and educational bodies across the country when they already know schools are being underfunded, in some cases to the point of collapse (whereby a private firm has the opportunity to swoop in and set up a for-profit academy in it’s place). Seems coincidental that Nick Gibbs has consistently voted (11 times out of 11 so far) in favour of more academies, also he has consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education.
Remind again us why we should believe this man has our public funded schools’ interests at heart whatsoever? Why don’t the Tories actually take the word of a 1000 head teachers who are seeing the first hand impact of cuts in their schools? Why not admit they are under-funding education on purpose (just like the police force, NHS and other public sector jobs) to justify privatising them as they start to fall apart? Because we all know that’s what this is really about. Not learning, not teaching… but greed.
There’s no money in the pot for nurses, teachers, firefighters or care workers… but apparently we can afford to pay £120 million for a Brexit Festival?
That is now the almost surreal situation we find ourselves in since the Tories have taken a big sharp neo-liberal axe to our public services under the guise of austerity, because ‘there’s no money left’ to pay for these things, and ‘we have to make tough decisions on behalf of the country’… (etc etc)…
When are they going to change the record and stop treating the general public like idiots? We’re all quite familiar with Theresa May’s refuting the existence of “the magic money tree” whilst explaining to nurses why they couldn’t have a pay rise. Shortly after this and following her disastrous election result Theresa simply shook the magic money tree and down fluttered £1bn to help bribe DUP MPs to help prop up her failing government. Something which sparked widespread outrage for flying in the face of the apparent need for austerity. (it was also around this time that Theresa May lied to the Queen about being able to form a government before she knew she could).
How the Conservatives can expect for the public to buy into this fresh barrage of hypocrisy should speak volumes about the level of contempt they have for the electorate. How come hospital wards and A&Es are closing, schools are facing the worst funding crisis in a decade but out of thin-air the PM conjours up £120m to help celebrate Brexit? Surely she can see the hypocrisy of doing this given the perpetual austerity we’re all experiencing (which the British Medical Journal has linked up to 120,000 deaths to over just a 3 year period (2011-2014)).
Whether you voted to leave or remain, does this seem like a good way to spend our taxes to you? Would you prefer to have a festival or would you rather see our hospitals, schools and other services taken care of first? We’d prefer the latter.
Having been literally asked this question by a friend, it prompted us to try and supply some sort of answer to the age old question… why is the default vote setting for many people Conservative despite their terrible track record and ongoing omni-shambles in government?
Well, of course there’s more to it than the information contained in the image above, but in essence we believe this is the baseline answer. The mainstream media must make the voting public more scared of a potential Labour government – more than how angry they’ve become at the Conservative’s policies & austerity agenda. This is the fundamental driver behind how the establishment aim to control the ballots, not by winning over voters with an inspiring progressive plan for the future, but rather to control public perception by convincing the public that no matter how bad things are under the Tories, they will always be worse under Labour.
The current Labour manifesto has inspired millions of people to engage in politics for the first time, in the creeping shadow of Tory austerity there has been enough of an obvious threat for your average Joe on the street to perk their ears up and take an interest in the system that is ultimately failing them. The real question is, which message is the strongest, which appeals to everyone’s ‘inner voter’ on the day? We honestly believe for the first time in a decade that the MSM’s grip on the narrative is actually starting to slip. The weight of injustice and blatant corruption on so many tiers of the layer cake have left the public desperate for an alternative to the status-quo. The establishment know they cannot win the popular vote, so you can bet for sure the battle will be fought on the grounds of (Scare) > must be greater than > (Public anger).
(Not an ideal scenario from a voters perspective we think you’ll agree! Will I be made angry or scared today? I can’t wait to find out!)
Remploy was set up during WW2 to help provide work for sick miners and injured servicemen and women. Today it is paid tens of millions of pounds a year of tax payer’s money to help disabled people. The £2 million fire sale of the government run company was overseen by none other than Conservative Minister Esther McVey for what is now being claimed as a pittance of it’s real worth. We now hear that Remploy has earned it’s new American owners the princely sum of £7.1 million in the past year, who must be laughing all the way to the bank given the hugely undervalued price tag they paid for the business.
We often hear Tory buzz words and phrases like ‘Taking back control of our Country’. Well, excuse us for saying it – but this hardly seems like ‘taking back control’ of anything… but rather ‘selling off control for peanuts’.
A big round of applause for Esther McVey.
According to the government’s own documents an unbelievable 81,140 people have died whilst being affected by cuts and sanctions. Of that number 50,580 were claiming ESA – Employment support allowance (the benefit introduced several years ago to replace incapacity benefit) and the rest are made up of a variety of other benefits they were claiming before cuts and sanctions contributed to their deaths.
The government’s report states that no correlation can be drawn using this data, however, it wasn’t so long ago that the British Medical Journal concluded that deaths in England fell by an average of 0.77% a year from 2001 to 2010 but then rose by an average of 0.87% a year from 2011 to 2014.. accounting for approximately 120,000 extra deaths over that period. Whether this figure is to be believed is another question, however, when the government’s own analysis highlights over 81,000 benefit claimants dying over the same period we’d be inclined to draw a line between the two reported rises in mortality rates over that period. Assuming it’s the smaller of the two figures (based on the government data rather than the BMJ) it’s still a wildly unexplained spike in deaths of claimants who were affected by cuts and sanctions brought about by austerity. Just think about that for a moment, a possible 80 thousand deaths attributed to Conservative policy. Where is a billboard sized headline about the potential impact of this on the BBC or other mainstream media outlets? Why are our leaders and politicians not bringing this catastrophe to the forefront of the debate? Now consider the other aspects of Tory austerity which have resulted in deaths. For example cuts to the fire service resulting in increased fire related deaths? Grenfell Tower? Or how about cuts to the NHS which has left some patients literally dying on trolleys in hospital corridors throughout what was described by many as the worst winter crisis in the history of the NHS? These are just a couple of examples where Tory policy has fostered a truly lethal environment for some. We imagine you can think of other instances if you put your mind to it.
And the fundamental driver behind all of this carnage? Fake austerity. The notion somehow embedded in the minds of millions that there just isn’t enough money in the pot to take care of these issues. We all know this to be an absolute lie. Remember Theresa May conjuring up £1 billion for the DUP out of thin air? Or George Osborne letting Google off paying £2 billion in taxes? Or the top earner tax cut that since 2010 has cost the British economy £11 billion? There are countless examples where the magic money tree comes up with the goods when the Tories want it to. But when it comes to looking after sick and disabled people apparently we’re skint. The whole thing stinks.
A fine example of how the Conservative’s prioritise their spending of public money. The Department for Work and Pensions have paid DWP officials £44 million in ‘performance’ related pay bonuses, this comes in the wake of the disastrous roll-out of their flagship welfare policy Universal Credit which over the past year has left thousands of vulnerable people with up to a desperate 6 week waiting period for payments to start coming through. The project has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on ongoing IT problems, the architect of Universal Credit (Iain Duncan Smith) tried to hide the ongoing failures throughout it’s development. 8 years on and £2bn already spent, there are still only a small fraction of claimants who have been successfully moved onto UC. (In June 2018 this figure stood at a mere 10% of all claimaints). Despite this 240 senior DWP officials were paid a total £760,000 in bonuses and 88,300 junior staff were each paid an extra £1,750.
Furthermore the DWP have spent £35 million defending legal cases against disabled people being denied PIP (Personal Independence Payments) despite official figures that show 68% of all legal challenges by claimants are upheld by the courts anyway. Hence it doesn’t save the tax payer money for the DWP to fight these cases, it actually costs the tax payer more for the DWP to basically make these claimants lives a misery under the guise of austerity. The whole thing is a pointless and expensive exercise in persecuting the sick, something which the Conservatives are well known for.
Does this seem like a good use of your taxes to you? Are you happy to see it spent on rewarding failures like Universal Credit & for punishing disabled people? If so then you should vote Tory.