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It has become almost impossible for me to feel encouraged by anything these days, but quite by chance I stumbled across a really down to earth Video by Richard Murphy entitled “Why are the Tories so worried?” I hope that this corrupt cabal are paranoid and absolutely shit scared; after repeatedly cringing each time they succeed in ramming through one of their ruthless policies I was eager to hear Murphy’s opinion on why he thought they might be in the desperate throws of decline. He elaborates on the evidence of their current behavior, highlighting four main Tory failures: Brexit; Covid; Corruption and the break up of the UK. While not in his initial list the renowned economist doesn’t fail to add his favorite topic, the decline and inevitable demise of Neolibral economic policy making. All of Richard Murphy’s video presentations are well worth watching, but while this one inspired a glimmer of hope for the future, he did not provide a likely timescale or a clear roadmap out of this Tory Sovereign Dictatorship quagmire.
With regard to Brexit Murphy points out how badly it has gone wrong coming from the enlightened perspective of an economist. The catastrophic failure of Brexit is being deliberately hidden from the public, buried under an all-consuming preoccupation with Covid, but as the data is incrementally revealed the news looks disastrous. Massive red tape and restrictive encumbrances have stagnated our exports while imports remained relatively steady thus creating a trade imbalance that Tory fantasy trade deals are unable to fix. We are not even experiencing the worst of the restrictions yet because the Government has postponed implementing certain measures that they know will exacerbate the problem. Despite breaking the terms of the recently signed agreement by maintaining relaxed rules regarding goods bound for Northern Ireland, the province has been the worst impacted by trade shortages that were anticipated well in advance of signing the contentious Tory protocol. This has now sparked violent protest riots in Belfast.
Murphy is not fooled by the recent popularity of the much trumpeted, Tory manipulated, vaccine rollout to combat Covid, qiuping rather sarcastically that we have managed to reduce the death toll down to the equivalent of just one ‘jumbo jet load’ a week! We have surpassed the 150,000 fatality mark and nothing can make such a gargantuan deadly failure of public policy look acceptable. He points to SAGE warnings that we could see a fourth wave of infections and another shut down this summer just as the public are itching to get away on holiday. The copious BBC ‘handyfloss’ and Media hype emphasizing ‘bums on beaches,’ in warm and sunny places overseas, intentionally detract from the reality of the dire Tory decision making. Unvaccinated young people eagerly await increased freedom that Boris Johnson has sadistic and miserly control over with a very heavy emphasis on returning to working environments that are not necessarily safe and the need to spend money that most ordinary people simply do not possess.
Boris Johnson made enemies on the continent with his one-way nationalistic hording of the vaccines in an effort to increase his popularity with the patriotic brigade back in the UK. Not only could Tory plans all go horribly wrong, but some of their selfishness and risk taking is already starting to backfire. Finally the Oxford team have admitted to a rare, but deadly possible side effect of the jab they prioritized for British use at the expense of reneging on EU contracts, probably done at the politically motivated behest of the PM. The reckless blunders in containment measures and woefully lax border control helped incubate a Kent Variant which now appears to be one of our most successful exports to the EU! In addition, and unique to the UK, the Tory punt on extended the gap between first and second jabs might offer the perfect environment for incubating another, more transmissible or highly resistant, mutant strain of Covid that could easily scupper Tory triumphalism with an even more virulent onslaught taking yet more lives.
Tories have never commanded a crisis without seizing a massive exploitation opportunity for personal enrichment, so the Covid 19 Pandemic was just too great of a bonanza to pass up. The zenith of obscene Tory corruption has been too blatant to be kept under wraps or even glossed over discreetly by the compliant right-wing Media; it is right out there, in your face as they insist that their Tory Government is above and beyond the law. However although the Tories committed to hobling Judicial Review and gaining control over Judicial appointments in their manifesto, they have not accomplished that swiftly enough to avoid a number of crippling judgements coming down the pike. From bogus PPE procurement contracts to white elephant ‘Nightngale Hospitals’ they could never manage to staff and an exorbitantly expensive Track and Trace system that would have been more aptly named ‘Hinder and Hide’ under the misdirection of serial loser Dido ‘Tally ho’ Harding, corruption is the hallmark of this Tory cabal.
To my great amusement Murphy shared a telling piece of trivia regarding the derogatory origination of the ‘Tory’ name: from the Irish language, meaning, ‘Outlaw, Robber, Brigand.’ I felt inextricably compelled to verify what Murphey had revealed. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary: “Tory (n.) 1566, ‘an outlaw,’ specifically ‘one of a class of Irish robbers noted for outrages and savage cruelty,’ from Irish toruighe ‘plunderer,’ originally ‘pursuer, searcher,’ from Old Irish toirighim ‘I pursue,’ from toir ‘pursuit,’ from Celtic *to-wo-ret- ‘a running up to,’ from PIE root *ret- ‘to run, roll’.” In the prophetic words of one of the cruelest Tory Prime Ministers: “Nothing has changed!” Exhibiting ever more brazen corruption, supported by copious amounts of ludicrously incredulous media spun propaganda and their stranglehold on power, the greedy Tory elite are still rampaciously plundering all of the country’s resources and callously impoverishing the British people while bragging about their fake Tory policies for ‘levelling up!’
There is a finite limit to the profitability of plundering from the critically downtrodden working poor, so Murphy is right to point out that the Neoliberal model is unsustainable, but is he right to surmise that it’s nearing the end-game? Evidently one very serious financial collapse was not enough to clean up ‘Russian Roulette’ style banking practices and hedge fund gambling. There is no planet B, but despite fast approaching a tipping point in the climate crisis, like moths drawn to light that kills them, sadly the human race seems incapable of deselecting socioeconomic collapse or total planet-wide annihilation! Murphy reminds us that corruption has signalled the demise of Tory Governments in the past; we desperately need that day of reckoning and certainly within a functioning democracy this should be the logical conclusion. The question is, have the current Tory Sovereign Dictatorship managed to use their corruptly obtained power to inoculate themselves from scrutiny, accountability and the legal consequences of their relentless pillaging?
Murphy’s fourth point regarding Tory failures focuses on the imminent break up of the UK starting with Scotish independence, a return of ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland that could lead to a United Ireland and now even Wales considering the benefits of breaking away from Tory dominated Westminster. The Tories like to downplay the resource wealth of Scotland that they have been in such a strong position to exploit for so long, but the Scots are not stupid when it comes to money. The Tories need Scotland to remain within the union to keep their nuclear submarines stationed on the Clide; independent Scotland wants rid of them and nowhere else is eager to provide safe haven south of the border. But as much as the Tories still determinedly cling to an increasingly fragile Union their toxic policies are seriously alienating the rebellious populations in all parts of the UK and it’s only a matter of time before the UK is torn apart just like the great former empire. This will not reflect at all well on the Prime Minister who oversees this fragmentation.
For those of you unfamiliar with Richard Murphy he is a chartered accountant who has recently put out a number of excellent explanatory video presentations focusing on Modern Monetary Policy in an effort to educate the public regarding the failed Tory austerity agenda and the advantages of our fiet currency. His bio says “After training with what is now KPMG he established his a firm of accountants in London, of which he was subsequently senior partner, in parallel with a career as an entrepreneur and company director which lasted until his early 40s. He then moved to a career in campaigning and academia. He co-founded the Tax Justice Network in 2003, the Green New Deal in 2008, the Fair Tax Mark in 2013 and the Corporate Accountability Network in 2019. From 2015 to 2020 he was Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University of London and is now Visiting Professor of Accounting at Sheffield University Management School. His best known book is ‘The Joy of Tax’.”
The British are a freedom loving people waking up to the reality that this rabid Tory Sovereign Dictatorship are determined to strip away not just workers rights, but a multitude of basic human rights in the most serious onslaught on our freedoms for over a century. The classic complacent ‘winging POM’ puts up with hardship and just grumbles about the impact of totally unacceptable injustice. That has led to the acceptance of the ruthless ravages of austerity only to now discover that this cruelty was a completely unnecessary political choice made by the Tory Party for personal enrichment. This fact was fully exposed before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election which is why I am in no doubt that the result was rigged to provide a Tory ‘landslide victory,’ a result which must still be Investigated. It is simply inconceivable that large numbers of desperately poor, relentlessly exploited former Labour voters wouldn’t have realized that voting for the Tories would mean condemning their children to starve as is happening right now.
In the Canary Article entitled “The DWP policy that is nothing short of eugenics,” they say “We can now properly analyse the effect of a four-year-old Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy. It’s caused poverty to increase.” The say “The policy may also have caused an increase in abortions. But exclusive research by The Canary has also found birth rates among the poorest women have dramatically fallen; potentially also due to the policy. Yet so far, the DWP maintains that there isn’t a problem. The two-child limit is a DWP policy. The then Tory government brought it in on 6 April 2017. It meant the DWP would only pay Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit for two children in a family; any more than this the DWP would not count in benefits calculations. The policy has been controversial. A court ruled in June 2017 that the policy was ‘discriminatory’ against single mothers with children under two. Then, in April 2018, another court said the cap was unlawful. This was in relation to young carers.”
The Canary highlight another controversial outrage citing how “The so-called ‘rape clause‘, where women have to prove they’ve been raped to get an exception to the two-child limit, also sparked outrage. Now, four years on, the long-term effects of the two-child limit are clear. The Canary reported in 2018 that the number of households likely to be hit in the future by the cap would explode. In April 2018, just under 71,000 households were subject to the limit. Now, as of April 2020, the number has rocketed to 250,000.” The article includes a number of graphs that depict the impact of increasingly punitive Tory policy. “In April 2018, around 200,000 children were affected. Now, this figure is over 900,000. Meanwhile, the DWP has effectively cut over £5bn from people’s social security with the policy and the real-world impact is very concerning.” The Tories remain steadfast in their cruelty and immune to external criticism even as the UN steps in to feed starving children in London, England, one of the richest countries on earth!
The Canary report on the “Increasing poverty” says that “According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) data on poverty, there has been a four percentage point increase in the number of households below average income where three or more children live; up four percentage points from 43% to 47%. That’s nearly a 10% increase. As the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) wrote: estimates suggest that by the end of this Parliament, more than 600,000 families are likely to be subject to the limit, pushing an estimated 1.3 million children into, or deeper into, poverty. The CPAG also looked at abortions. It found that there was a “sharp” overall increase after 2017: In 2016 in England and Wales there were just over 185,000 abortions. By 2019, this had increased by 11.74% to just over 207,000. But crucially the CPAG said that abortion rates for women who already had two or more children increased ‘most rapidly’ after 2017.”
“The Canary analysed the birth rates for women by socioeconomic status; that is for the richest and poorest women” remarking that “Poor people: not having kids.” They say that their “Research found that birth rates fell generally. This was comparing 2017 and 2019 figures. The biggest falls have been among the poorest households.” In the table included in the article, “1.1 is the richest, 8 is the poorest. We cannot directly say that the falls are due to the two-child limit. But given the effect of the policy on abortion and poverty rates, this additional impact is likely. Moreover, the reduction in birth rates in the poorest groups is sudden. As The Canary previously reported, between 2013 and 2016 birth rates in groups 5-8 fell overall by 0.9%. Now, between 2017 and 2019 this accelerated to a 12.4% fall.”
But, the Canary point out that “This drop also correlated with the 11.74% increase in abortions. Because the poorest women are having abortions at over twice the rate of the richest. There is no comparative yearly data for abortion rates per socioeconomic status prior to the two-child limit being introduced. But abortion rates had been rising across all groups between 2013-2018. It appears from the data that between 2018 and 2019, increases in abortion rates were most marked in the poorest groups (a 0.9 point increase in the poorest versus a 0.4 point increase in the richest).” Haughty elitist MP Jacob Reese Mogg is a practicing Catholic who has sired six children and is adamantly apposed to abortion, but aparently his beliefs and commitment to his faith isn’t strong enough to exclude the poor from the being forced to make a brutal pragmatic choice to abort their babies.
“The Canary asked the DWP for comment. A spokesperson told us: Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the coronavirus pandemic and is supporting people back into work through our comprehensive Plan for Jobs. In 2020, 85% of all households had two or fewer children, which is reflected in our policy. There are appropriate exemptions in place. But the DWP’s own research shows that these exemptions are tiny. In April 2018, the number of households with three or more kids the DWP gave an exemption from the limit to was just over 2,800. By April 2020, the number was around 12,500; an average of 4.75% of households hit by the policy across the UK. This is actually a reduction on 2018, where the percentage was around 8% of the total households having an exemption.”
The Canary asks was this “Intentional eugenics? The two-child limit has been perhaps the Tories’ most noxious policy. It’s hard not to look at it and think that the DWP and government intentionally designed it to stop poor people having children. Because as the CPAG noted: If these findings are related to the two-child policy, it is horrifying. China’s one-child policy was driven by burgeoning birth rates. We have sub-replacement fertility. There is no other country in history that has adapted social security policy to increase child poverty to reduce fertility or encourage abortion. It is a completely outrageous assault on liberty. The word for this would be eugenics.” The Canary insist that “Successive Tory governments and the DWP have meted it out, without recourse.”
In the Left Foot Forward Article entitled “Four years of the Tories’ two-child limit: Here’s what it’s done,” Lucy Skoulding points out that “If the Tory policy was scrapped now 200,000 children would immediately be lifted out of poverty. The Tory party’s ‘obscene’ two-child limit and ‘rape clause’ has now been estimated to negatively impact 350,000 families and 1.25 million children in the four years since it was imposed. Since April 2017, parents having a third or subsequent child are not eligible for support, which is up to £2,830 per child per year, through child tax credit and universal credit if they need it. The policy also includes the caveat that, to claim for a third or subsequent child conceived through rape, women must make a declaration to the DWP, meaning they have to relive their previous trauma. A report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) published today has also found that the impact of the two-child limit on families has been compounded by other Tory cuts to social security, including benefit freezes and the benefit cap.”
Skoulding reports that “Before Covid-19, £36 billion a year had been cut from social security since 2010 because of Tory policies. The CPAG report estimates a further 15,000 families, amounting to approximately 50,000 children, have been affected by the policy because of the pandemic than would have otherwise ‘in spite of extensive measures taken to protect people from the economic impact of the pandemic’. In one case study shared, a whole family fell apart during the pandemic. The family ‘could easily afford’ to pay for all their children before the husband became ill and was unable to work. The youngest child needs childcare which the family cannot afford, meaning one parent has to work from home. ‘We are living in poverty,’ the case study reads, ‘with no way out before he starts school, or my husband recovers enough to restart work or look after the children’.”
Skoulding reveals that “In another one, a parent says the policy makes it feel as if their third child doesn’t matter. ‘I made the decision to have a third child while my husband and myself were in work. My husband then left the day before the lockdown and I had to claim universal credit. It feels as though my third child doesn’t matter and his food, housing and basic living standards don’t matter.’ In addition to the negative impact this policy is having on so many children generally, the report has also found evidence to show it disproportionately affects women and certain religious and black and minority ethnic communities. Estimates, for example, show that that 29 percent of families impacted by the two-child limit are single parent families headed by women, while 1 percent are single parent families headed by men.”
Skoulding notes that “Perhaps the most powerful finding of the whole report is that if the two-child limit were removed today, 200,000 children would immediately be lifted out of poverty and 600,000 children would be living in less deep poverty than they are now. At a cost of £1 billion, this makes scraping the two-child limit the most cost-effective way for the government to reduce child poverty. The SNP has staunchly condemned both the two-child limit and rape clause and is calling for the policy to be scrapped. SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said: ‘The Tory government has pushed millions of people into poverty with its barbaric cuts to social security. It’s obscene that they remain so wedded to the two-child cap and rape clause, despite the overwhelming evidence of the damage it is doing to our society. It must be scrapped. ‘Covid has exposed the deep inequality that exists under the broken Westminster system’.”
Skoulding says “While the SNP government is putting money into people’s pockets with progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment, the Tories are taking billions away with cuts to family budgets. ‘The DWP’s own statistics show the damaging impact their policies are having, with an unmistakable increase in poverty levels amongst families with three children or more, and 47 percent of children in these families now living in poverty. Not only does this harmful Tory policy make it increasingly difficult for families to get by in these challenging times, there is evidence that it forces women into an impossible choice between serious financial difficulty or terminating a pregnancy’.” Wall to wall coverage on the BBC as British subjects are expected to mourn the passing of HRH after an amazing 99 year life of opulent luxury. Condolences to the royals, but who is there to mourn the thousands of destitute homeless who die on the streets of our wealthy nation after surviving an average 47 years ignored in abject misery?
The deafeningly silent scream of the millions who care about ending poverty and grotesque injustice was stifled with their invisible protests throughout the UK. “Nothing to see here…” as only the riots in Belfast made the BBC news cycle of the last week, but this belligerent and deliberate blackout of reality in response to ‘Kill the Bill’ protests cannot deter us from further action. If our actions were a welcome, accepted component of our vibrant democracy then they would be reported and responded to by the PM and his Ministers. Perhaps, despite outward bravado, they really are running scared. Richard Murphy says “You’d think that a government with a big majority and high on the polls would have little to worry about, and yet the Tories are showing signs of being very worried. How long is it before failings on Brexit and Covid 19 catch up with them, corruption is rumbled and Scotland declares it has had enough, leaving them as the party that killed the country? Their behavior suggests that they think the answer is ‘not long’.” DO NOT MOVE ON!