All posts tagged: Theresa May

Main Street, Brexitland

Tony Sutton People in England’s northern towns and cities are scared. Their fears stoked by xenophobic right-wing media, they hate Europe, and they hate migrants. But, most of all, they hate the way they are being squeezed into poverty by a post-industrial society that has turned dreams into nightmares and replaced hope with despair. Tony Sutton returns to South Shields, a place he once called home. British Prime Minister Theresa May has committed herself to a scheme to arrest the economic decline of the north of England. However, the plan, originally proposed by George Osborne, who was axed as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the exit of David Cameron as PM following June 2016’s Brexit vote, is still in a state of incoherence, doubletalk and indecision. Nothing has yet been agreed, other than the setting up of a think tank – the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – by Osborne, who raised few hopes for speedy action when he said at its mid-September launch: “Trying to turn around 100 years of relative economic decline is not going …

Why is Theresa May still Prime Minister?

Theresa May’s government has a strong argument for being the worst in the history of our democracy. So why is it allowed to continue?

Discuss: Brexit deal vote looms

Tonight, any time now, the UK Parliament will vote on whether or not accept Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” with the EU. The deal, which essentially keeps us in the EU without any democratic say in how it’s run, has achieved the startling feat of displeasing everyone, remainers and leavers, from both left and right. The vote is expected to be a grim defeat for May.

OffG in the New Year

And so the year ends. 2018 is a closed book. The final sentence dotted, a new chapter started. It was a bleak year, politically, for many of us – but not entirely without hope.

ODE to 2018

It fogs the mind that Century Twenty-One
Already has a sixth of its span run.
Those born in the first months of the millennium
Can vote – all we can do is to pinchpenny ’em.
The hope is slim they ever can afford
To own a home. It seems a poor reward
For working internships and zero-hours,
No job security as came with ours.
I’m thankful for the age when I was young –
The Swinging Sixties, long gone, fully swung.

OPEN THREAD: Brexit – Deal or No Deal?

Theresa May’s proposed “deal” for leaving the European Union has been criticised by MP’s from all across the political spectrum. Cabinet Ministers have resigned, jobs have been refused, letters of no-confidence have been sent. Where is this going? Will we see a Tory leadership election? If so, who’s going to win it? If the deal is voted down by Parliament, a vote of no confidence in Theresa May is almost inevitable. A vote of no confidence will almost certainly trigger a new General Election. A General Election Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party would be favourites to win. This puts the anti-Corbyn Blairite MPs in a difficult position – will they ruin what’s left of their credibility by backing the “deal” proposed by the Tory government? Will they call for an election and hope to replace Corbyn if/when Labour win? Or will we see a third Labour leadership election? Discuss below.

Behind Your Back: How the new “anti-stalking” bill could silence online dissent

John Ward MP Sarah Wollaston quite rightly wants the police to do more about (and tighten up the prosecution of) potentially dangerous stalkers. But now the crime includes “Cyber abuse”, her Private Member’s Bill is too lax in its definitions about what stalking is, and police guidelines on priorities. Equally worrying, a majority of those sponsoring the legislation have dubious elements in their pasts. In a special investigation, The Slog raises the alarm. Viewed in the round, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is a good egg. She isn’t Party voting fodder, she had a real job as a doctor before entering Parliament, she is suspicious of private sector health rip-offs, and she’s enormously popular in her Totnes constituency, where her ability to double and then treble majorities seems immune from the whimsical winds of electoral change as a whole. She espouses radical reform (in favour of the citizen) in how UK politics operate, and rebelled against the Government to vote against setting up a Royal Charter to regulate …

Three Point Failure: The Guardian’s racist campaign against “dirty Russian money”

by Kit Since the initial press hysteria over the Skripal case, the major political parties of the UK have been clambering over each other in an effort to scale the highest peak of moral high ground. Every paper, pundit and career minded MP only too eager to denounce the inherent badness of Russia, and everything Russia-related. RT was attacked again – despite having literally nothing to do with the Skripal case – and threatened with having its broadcasting license revoked, whilst the Tories and Labour argued over who appeared on the channel the most. The “liberal” press, and even some Labour MPs who should know better, went on the attack over “dirty Russian money” in the Tory party. Just as in the US, with the ludicrous “Russia-gate” investigation, any kind of connection to Russia was treated as an automatic taint, and MPs and journalists alike rushed to wash themselves clean and make it clear they were the most anti-Russian. The pro-Corbyn Left missed the mark to greatest degree, overly keen to smash their “soft on …

Has Jeremy Corbyn “gone full Trump”? Well, what if he has?

David Lindsay Has Jeremy Corbyn “gone full Trump”? Well, what if he has? In 2016, the American Democratic Party was defeated in the person of the most economically neoliberal and internationally neoconservative nominee imaginable. The lesson needs to be learned. The workers are not the easily ignored and routinely betrayed base, with the liberal bourgeoisie as the swing voters to whom tribute must be paid. The reality is the other way round. The EU referendum ought already to have placed that beyond doubt. There is a need to move, as a matter of the utmost urgency, away from the excessive focus on identity issues, and towards the recognition that those existed only within the overarching and undergirding context of the struggle against economic inequality and in favour of international peace, including co-operation with Russia, not a new Cold War. Working-class white areas that voted for Barack Obama did not vote for Hillary Clinton, African-American turnout went down while the Republican share of that vote did not, and Trump took 30 per cent of the Hispanic …

They say there’s no “magic money tree”…well there is! But…

Bryan Gocke In Britain, if it wasn’t for BREXIT we would be discussing (among other things) Labour’s proposed economic policies, including an expansion of public sector spending. There would be a storm of media led disparagement about plans to stimulate the economy through borrowing and increased taxation and concerns raised about not paying down the national debt. As Theresa May said whilst campaigning for the last general election “There is no magic money tree.” I find it particularly disheartening that many well informed, left leaning people buy this criticism, worrying whether the country can afford improved public services and whether this will make Labour unelectable. The stock response of the Left to this would normally go along the lines of: The Tories are in disarray and deeply split over BREXIT and thus just might be even more unelectable than a slightly radical Labour Party. Britain is a rich country; surely it can afford better public services than it currently has? Labour’s proposals are, in truth, underwhelming! They represent such a modest step in a process …

An Open Letter to the People of Britain, from Vasily Livanov MBE

This open letter, from iconic Russsian actor Vasily Livanov MBE, was first sent to The Guardian. They declined to publish it, we did not. As with many of my compatriots, there are many things about Britain and the British people that I admire. As someone whose whole life has been linked with literature, cinema and theatre, I have the greatest appreciation for English literature and the arts, for its writers and playwrights, actors and directors. As someone who had the good fortune to have played the iconic Englishman Sherlock Holmes in a very successful Soviet film series, I was honoured to have been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I am grateful for a chance to have been part of the mutually enriching cultural kinship and synergy of our two countries. As someone who has lived a long life, I vividly remember the years of WWII when the Soviet Union and Britain were staunch and proud allies in the fight against Nazism. Many Russians feel an affinity with many things English – …

What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

by Rob Slane from The Blogmire In an article on 3rd May, the Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, made the following rather amusing observation: Since the Skripals were found stricken on a park bench, Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. Theresa May says it is ‘highly likely’ Moscow carried out the attack using a Soviet-made nerve agent. Only the Kremlin had the motive to kill its former officer, she argues.” The funny part, in case you didn’t spot it, was his claim that Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. He is of course correct, but what he doesn’t tell his readers is that this one version of events has had a plethora of sub-narratives attached to it, none of which have been able to remotely support the main thesis. Sticking to one version of events is reasonable only inasmuch as that version can be supported by facts. On the other hand, if the version of events being stuck to is not supported by the facts, or if the “facts” constantly …

Reality Check – the Tories DID NOT win the local elections.

We were never supposed to be here. This was never supposed to happen. Corbyn keeps ruining plans and breaking rules and gaining votes and making sense. He says reasonable things, queitly, and people listen. This is not how politics is supposed to go.

The bottom line is that the establishment is getting more and more frustrated with Corbyn because he simply won’t do what he’s told. He won’t bang the war drums on command, betray the unions, sell off the NHS or resign in disgrace. He won’t even lose when he’s supposed to.

The Disappointing Jeremy Corbyn

by David Lindsay We all know what a disappointment Theresa May has turned out to have been. Her purported energy price cap has been scarcely worth mentioning, while there is no sign of workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, or of shareholders’ control over executive pay, or of restrictions on pay differentials within companies, or of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, or of greatly increased housebuilding, or of action against tax avoidance, or of a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, or of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, or of a ban on unpaid internships, and of an inquiry into Orgreave. Instead, we have had the bombing of Syria in the Saudi-backed jihadi interest. It is immaterial whether or not that had parliamentary approval. The wars in Iraq and Libya both had parliamentary approval, but so what? And the emphasis on that technicality, instead of on the wrongness of the bombing itself, points to the fact that, as a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who is not a member of any …

The Timeline of Shame

by Thomas G. Clark, Another Angry Voice, April 16, 2018 In March 2018 the Saudi tyrant Mohammed bin Salman began a month-long tour of Western nations, securing new arms deals with Britain, the United States, and France. In early March 2018, the brutal Islamist tyrant received a warm Tory welcome in London. Against a backdrop of widespread criticism of the repressive Saudi regime and their ongoing campaign of war crimes in Yemen, Theresa May agreed a new arms deal with the Saudi regime to supply them 48 Typhoon jets. This deal was signed off by the UK government despite their full knowledge that the Saudis have been using British-manufactured weapons to commit horrific war crimes. Later that month Bin Salman rocked up in the United States to meet Donald Trump. The President of the United States demeaned his office and his nation by begging the Saudi tyrant to “share the wealth“ by buying more American-manufactured weapons. The trip concluded with a new $670 million deal to supply the repressive kingdom with anti-tank missiles and spare …

Alexander Shulgin to the OPCW

The following is the unofficial translation of the statement made by Alexander Shulgin, the head of Russian delegation at the OPCW, at that body’s April 18 Executive Council meeting at the Hague.   The text is provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. Mr. Chairperson, I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes”. This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth. The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the “Skripal case” fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, …

Four days to declare a Cold War

by Thierry Meyssan, Voltairenet The week that has just ended was exceptionally rich in events. But no media were able to report it, because they had all deliberately masked certain of their number in order to protect the story that was being woven by their government. London had attempted to provoke a major conflict, but lost to Russia, President Trump and Syria. The British government and certain of its allies, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have attempted to launch a Cold War against Russia. Their plan was to fabricate an attack against an ex-double agent in Salisbury and at the same time a chemical attack against the « moderate rebels » in the Ghouta. The conspirators’ intention was to profit from the efforts of Syria to liberate the suburbs of its capital city and the disorganisation of Russia on the occasion of its Presidential election. Had these manipulations worked, the United Kingdom would have pushed the USA to bomb Damascus, including the Presidential palace, and demand that the United Nations General Assembly exclude …

Further Signs of More War: A Most Dangerous Game

by Edward Curtin Donald Trump’s days of playing the passive/aggressive host of a reality-television game show are coming to an end. Either he fires all the apprentices who might slightly hesitate to wage a much larger world war and lets the bombs fly, or he will be replaced by one who will. Signs are that he has learned what his job entails and the world will suffer more death and destruction as a result. Back in the days of the first Cold War – the late 1950s to early 1960s when our little world came close to extinction – my very large family appeared on many American television shows. Their names told the story of those times: “Who Do You Trust,” “To Tell the Truth,” “Charades,” “Play Your Hunch,” and “Beat the Clock,” to name a few. It was as if those silly game shows were unconsciously suggesting we probe a little deeper behind the headlines to discover what was really going on before the Doomsday Clock ran out. Today things are far more sophisticated …

The farcical reality behind Theresa May’s “novichok” story

We already know UK PM Theresa May misrepresented the Russian law on executing terrorists in foreign lands, in order to bolster her currently evidence-free claims of Russian culpability in the poisoning of ex-MI6 employee Sergey Skripal. Her narrative remains, as of March 15, bald and unconvincing. But it seems things may be about to get even worse for her and what some see as her bid to “Falklandise” her flagging premiership. It seems the “nerve agent” she claims was used to attack Skripal and his daughter may not actually exist

May blatantly misleads Parliament about Russian “terrorist” law

When Theresa May made her statement about a Russian law permitting the murder of Skripal on English soil
she was either disgracefully uninformed or was intentionally misleading Parliament. Not only have two experts given their view that the laws in question do not permit the extra-judicial killing of “dissidents”in the manner described, but a British judge ruled in agreement with this conclusion during the Litvinenko Inquiry.