What Theresa May Didn’t Say As She Dances To Abba
By Graham Vanbergen: Typing the keywords ‘Theresa May Speech’ into Google News and something quite bizarre occurs. The mainstream media seem to be suffering from some sort of collective amnesia. Have they politically huddled together and conspired to toe the Conservative party line irrespective of their loyal readerships?
Go to The Guardian and you would expect a front page feature on why Theresa May’s speech was so wrong in so many ways. But no, it appears that a moon, some 50 trillion miles (47.3 to be exact) away and of no significance at all whatsoever to human life commands much more prominence. The ongoing political soap opera in the US also dominates whilst “Theresa May pledges end to austerity” is their only effort.
“Theresa May has made a bold pledge to bring a decade of austerity to a close, as she appealed to the public over the heads of her squabbling party to back her to deliver a Brexit deal.”
Austerity – coming to an end? No Squabbling. Huh!!
Was it June last year when Theresa May came under fire for telling nurses “there is no magic money tree” after years of suppressed pay increases as living costs continued to rise and nurses headed for the food banks. And let’s forget the interest charges on the national debt, largely built up by saving a corrupt banking industry, now costing £142,000,000 a day or to put it another way, over £1 billion a week. There is no money. None that anyone with a working calculator can see anyway.
Universal credit, costing millions to implement and failed in so many ways, is being rolled-out irrespective. The benefit cap it imposes will continue for another three years, whilst the household benefits freeze continues for another six.
Had Theresa May forgotten that the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the proportion of government spending as a percentage of GDP or state expenditure is expected to fall for another six years.
This same department, set up as an independent body, forecasts that, even if spending was allowed to rise to take account of the extra health costs just of an ageing population, let alone a growing one with more health issues than ever, the deficit would remain flat for another eight years.
Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said: “The public and most politicians are tired of austerity, but we’re a long way off from actually ending it.” Bell is right. Only a massive Tory U-turn will facilitate such a feat, the result being – increased public debt. You can’t have it both ways can you.
Theresa May then attempted to solve the housing crisis with yet more expenditure. “Solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation,” May told Tory delegates, without mentioning how it came about in the first place. May also forgets which party fostered the massive financialisation of the housing market and whose predecessor ramped up even more public debt supporting it with tools of state intervention such as save-to-buy et al. Her new suggestion is nothing new and unaffordable as every additional penny spent goes straight onto the bottom line of taxpayer liabilities.
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As for announcing anything for the NHS including an illusory budget increase, or increased cancer care, who does she propose will do anything when the NHS is facing a skills crisis – a crisis never seen in modern day Britain. Hospital trusts and other care providers tried to recruit 69,408 nurses and midwives in the six months between October 2017 and March this year, according to the latest vacancy figures published by NHS Digital. They failed. The NHS is short of 20,000 doctors as well. It doesn’t end there. Vacancies for allied health professionals – including physiotherapists and occupational therapists sits at roughly 18,500. This crisis is getting worse because no new staff are coming from the EU – and that is understandable given the current political climate in Britain.
In the meantime, no mention was made of government warnings in the last few weeks by warring Tories and desperate civil servants. Food and medical shortages, increased business costs, failing cross-border payment systems, trucks stacked up at ports and planes flying round in circles endlessly. The National Farmers Union (NFU) has talked of an “Armageddon” if there’s no deal.
I’m not sure what ‘Armageddon’ looks like. I’ve watched the odd movie with an Armageddon-like backdrop to it and frankly, it doesn’t look that good. My wife tells me she loves life – well I’ve got news for you my dear, according to the experts the cost of your favourite purchases will dramatically increase or disappear or you’re going to starve to death. And if not, the cat will because all his food is caught by Portuguese fishermen, canned in Spain and trucked across frictionless borders by Polish drivers straight to his relentlessly demanding ginger mouth. I might add his vet is German. He’s truly stuffed. Or will be.
Theresa May also seems to have forgotten that the Police have raised their concerns amid fear a No-Deal Brexit could lead to widespread rioting across the UK with a “real possibility” the Army would need to be brought in to restore order, according to a leaked document. One of a number of contingency plans says fears over supplies of food, medicines and other goods will trigger public panic leading to “widespread protests” which could then “escalate into disorder”.
It was only last month, yes, I say again, only last month that Chancellor Philip Hammond, the man responsible for making sure Britain’s finances are all in order reiterated a warning from his department of a 7.7% hit to GDP over the next 15 years under a no-deal Brexit scenario, in a letter to the Treasury Committee. Theresa May has conveniently forgotten all of that.
To put that in context, the financial crisis caused by the banking sector that cost the UK Treasury over £500 billion was way short of Hammond’s Brexit recessionary prediction. In fact, to reach Hammond’s 7.7% crash we have to revisit the Great Depression years just after World War 1 where 3 million people were thrown out of work in a much small working population. In the following six recessions, none has come close. The last one caused the austerity measures of today and was actually longer than any other post-war recession. You can’t imagine what the next one would look like if it was enhanced by another 15% or so – as predicted – by our own finance minister. And if we are not supposed to believe him, why is he doing that job in the first place.
Theresa May’s dancing on stage was not a good look really but she shouldn’t be blamed for having almost no coordination with her limbs. My dad suffers the same. He’s 88 mind you. But her mental faculties ought to be working better than his, especially her memory. They are not. May is forgetful of course, leaving aside being a serial liar. From promising seven times there would be no early general election to lying about average wage growth, from promising to cut immigration to tens of thousands (that on her watch got to 335,000 that same year) to unabashed lies on social care, the NHS crisis, on school funding, the deficit, income taxes, workers right and more. Don’t forget, this PM as former Home Secretary brought us a massive architecture of illegal and covert state surveillance that no democracy in the world has suffered, mass privacy invasions, swathing cuts to civil liberties and with it a huge transfer of powers to the police.
I should also point out that whilst this mainstream media love-fest diverts our eyes and lets May off the hook for a few days, she has allowed a continued course of repressive, even violent, state power to be exercised in the shadows.
First up is a few fracking protestors that Theresa May’s government has decided are now enemies of the state. As Craig Murray explains: “The draconian sentencing to jail of anti-fracking activists for non-violent direct action has received insufficient attention. It is a confident state that can undertake to bring back a level of repression not seen for decades – eight decades, in fact, since environmental activists received this kind of lengthy jail sentence, despite generations of tree climbing and road blocking.”
Yes, British judges are jailing local protestors, backed by their local authorities and local people for attempting to stop the state from destroying their community. Not since 1932 has this happened. But then again, put a judge, who, according to Murray, is connected to the company supplying the offshore oil and gas industry and what do you expect. Murray continues:
“Given that the judiciary allowed a judge to handle Julian Assange’s bail hearing, despite the fact that she was married to a former Tory chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, who had started a consultancy together with the former head of MI6, I am not in the least surprised that a corrupt Establishment allows such prejudiced judges to act so viciously.”
Then, on the quiet, when no-one was looking, we saw another assertion of state force against the people when the Tory Government, which has never polled above 28% in Scotland, calmly announced it would not permit another Scottish Independence referendum for another ten years. Want to stoke up the Scots? Tell them what they can’t do!
Theresa May is both desperate and deluded. She is lying and so are the mainstream media.
The truth is this. Brexit is six months away. We don’t know how good or bad it will be – it’s a massive gamble. There is no money, Britain is running a massive national debt costing a billion a week to service. There’s a housing crisis, an NHS crisis, social care crisis, law and order crisis and political crisis. The pillars of state are now acting like the henchmen of authoritarianism whilst the nation is bracing itself for an economic storm like no other and our Prime Minster minces onto a stage in front of the world looking like a robot with faulty batteries and announces – she’s found a money tree, the same one she said was a fantasy last year.
And as one line of the Abba tune went yesterday to end the Tory party conference:
You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Just like David Cameron did then! No doubt May will follow in his footsteps if this massive gamble goes wrong. Well-heeled of course. Unlike everyone else.