The Bullshit Barometer Is Currently Off The Scale

25th April 2024 / United Kingdom
The Bullshit Barometer Is Currently Off The Scale

By Graham Vanbergen: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a major piece of potential legislation, made to make him sound tough – and crack down on sickness and disability benefits in order to end a “sicknote culture.” Sunak has stated that “over-medicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life” is the problem, and that “good work” can actually improve mental and physical health. Sunak went on to say that the focus should be on what people “can do rather than what they cannot do.” The trouble is – he’s talking prime bullshit.

For all of us paying attention, it was only seven years ago when Iain Duncan-Smith, the then Work and Pensions minister, promised to “end the sicknote culture” by supporting “a system focused on what a claimant can do … and not just on what they can’t”. Sunak has no new ideas – about anything and this is just another non-idea going nowhere.

It’s not like it’s anything new. You might not be surprised to learn that Labour’s Peter Hain promised to end “sicknote culture” to focus on what people “can do rather than what they cannot do”, because, as he said at the time, work “is usually good for people with all types of mental health problems”.

The electorate really should demand the same of their elected representatives, i.e. to focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot do by putting forward some fresh ideas in the national interest and not their own interest.

In the case of the so-called ‘sicknote culture’ – both parties have been dishing out bullshit sound-bites because it’s good political brand marketing – and then done nothing about it. Obviously.



Meanwhile, Sunak and the Tory party battle it out in the shadows over the internal competition of who can be more right-wing than Suella Braver-Bullshitwoman. Former Minister Paul Scully (sacked from both ministerial roles and failed London Mayor candidate) said voters will think the Tories will have “lost their marbles” if they try to replace Rishi Sunak after next month’s local elections. No sooner had those words emanated from his mouth when the plot to oust Rishi Sunak became headline news.

One of the biggest bullshitters in government right now is James Cleverly. While he was trying to tell us that Rwanda really does need migrants (even if forced against their will) because a genocide wiped out a lot of its young workers, the Council of Europe’s human rights watchdog condemned the scheme, saying it raises “major issues about the human rights of asylum seekers and the rule of law”. This was backed up by the United Nations. But Cleverly has quite cleverly forgotten to tell you something else.

While he and Sunak, alongside Braverman, focus on convincing the general public that small boat crossings will be the ruination of ‘Old Blighty’, they conveniently omit to mention that they – abolished the annual cap of non-EU workers arriving in the UK,  opened up overseas recruitment to lower-skill levels, lowered it again for migrant care workers, and removed the Resident Labour Market Test (the requirement that jobs should first be advertised on the home market before being offered to applications from overseas). The result … nearly 4 million migrants came through the front door from 2020 to 2023.

And, if it’s not the doomed Rwanda Bill and the never-ending small boats story, it’s arms to Israel, or the poly-crisis that is Gt Britain – from the culture wars to the implosion of social care, the justice system, public health or potholes. You name it – we all have an axe to grind. And yes, it is all the fault of the Tories. It is they who bestowed upon every man, woman and child the lie that is Brexit; before that, it was George Osborne’s deadly ideologically driven austerity programme. The University of Glasgow published its own research that found “that an additional 335,000 deaths were observed across Scotland, England & Wales between 2012 and 2019 as a direct result of austerity.” The Lancet published the Office for National Statistics report that calculated that the pandemic years from 2020 to the end of 2023 caused an excess of 44,000 deaths. It doesn’t take a magician to work out what was far more deadly than the pandemic. If ever there was a bullshit story, it was that austerity was needed to keep the national debt down (which it didn’t). Since then, the Tories have left a country with an archaic, creaking infrastructure that will kill yet more. The NHS waiting list tells you that before you even start looking.

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Talking of Rwanda – it is interesting and very sobering to read what the US State Department says about it as a country. Here is small taster of their 2022 country report where Rwanda suffers from – “Significant human rights issues include credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary detention; political prisoners or detainees; transnational repression against individuals located outside the country, including killings, kidnappings, and violence; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists, and censorship; serious restrictions on internet freedom; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws on the organization, funding, or operation of nongovernmental and civil society organizations; serious and unreasonable restrictions on political participation; and serious government restrictions on or harassment of domestic and international human rights organizations.”

Sunak, Truss, Johnson (especially), May and Cameron were or are all first-class bullshitters, and as it turned out, they really were clueless and backed the wrong horses. And let’s be fair – why would they even want to win an election with the state the country is in after 14 years to achieve anything other than abject failure? Bullshit is the only thing they have left.



The United Kingdom is 80th in terms of landmass against all other countries in the world and 21st when it comes to the size of its population. And yet, it is the sixth wealthiest economy in the world, which means the UK punches way above its weight in global terms. And yet, according to the IFS, 25 per cent of all children in the UK now live in ‘absolute poverty.’ Our public healthcare system has fallen from a top-five position just over a decade ago to around 34th, and rising inequality now means our wealth per capita has fallen to 27th. That means the average household in Macao is better off than we are in Britain. We are doing well in one area, though – we sit in ninth position for the number of UK-based billionaires. It’s heart-warming to know we’re in the top ten for something, isn’t it. And I’m sure all 52 of them are very happy. Meanwhile, the rest of us are not happy at all.

Whilst the press continues to publish speculative stories about a summer or autumn election – we now have another post-war record – trust in politicians reaches its lowest-ever score. Everyone is so bored with the Tories, with their constant lies, the non-stop stories of malfeasance, or the abuse of just about anything that ventures into their path. The expected wipeout is deserved at every level.

Apart from making us all poorer, unhealthier and definitely more divided and angry – the Tories have managed more world-beating feats. The UK has been downgraded in an annual global index of civic freedoms as a result of the government’s “increasingly authoritarian” drive to impose restrictive and punitive laws on public protests. And just when you were thinking, well – I don’t participate in protests, you then find out that the UK has fallen to its lowest-ever position in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index. This ranks countries in terms of corruption in public services. This government were crowing just six years ago about how clean it was and, in the darkness of a pandemic, which they saw as a business opportunity – plunged the UK from 8th cleanest of government corruption in the world to 18th by 2022 and another two places a year later.

When you think about it – there’s Baroness Michelle Mone, who (as we have to say) may have profited from a PPE company winning public contracts worth more than £200 million. Then there is mum of one, Sandra Ryan, who was jailed for stealing baby milk. Then there is former (sacked actually) Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadim Zahawi, who got caught not paying £5m in taxes and then fined by HMRC or the 184,000 low-income earners who don’t pay tax and are not required to fill out tax returns in the first place, fined for not filing tax returns by HMRC. People are known to have fallen into debt and become homeless as a result of HMRC penalties that were never due.

We’re sick of it all, especially social injustice. The privatisation of the Post Office has led to a scandal of epic proportions, and so has the privatisation of water. Today, Labour has announced the re-nationalisation of the railways. And whilst the Tories have slammed the idea because it is unfunded, they are announcing increased defence spending without actually stating how that will be paid for.

Names synonymous with gold medal bullshitting go to – Chris Pincher (sexual assault), Own Paterson (illegal lobbying), Evgeny Lebedev (the son of a Russian oligarch and a former KGB officer, given a life peerage), David Warburton (sexual harassment), Gavin Williamson, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab (bullying), Suella Braverman (sacked for breaching the minsterial code), Matt Hancock (lockdown affair), and the longest list of scandalous misdemeanours ever – by the worst PM this country has ever spewed out from Eton, Boris Johnson. We shouldn’t forget the current PM’s history of setting fire with his mates to the financial system in Britain back in 2008, in which he amassed a fortune, called himself an American citizen and bought a mansion in Yorkshire with his nom-dom wife.

The Bullshit Barometer is currently off the scale – and we all know it, which is why we no longer believe a word they say.








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