George Eustice – “My priorities for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle” GE2019

I’ve just received the latest flyer from my Tory (ex UKIP) MP George Eustice. It’s almost totally free of any detail – just a series of meaningless slogans. The few ‘facts’ contained in it are mostly untrue. He is treating his constituents as fools.

First off we need to note that George Eustice has been a minister in a government that has been in power for nearly 10 years and so he must accept his share of the responsibility for the mess we are in and the damage his government have done to the UK. Blaming Labour is no longer tenable.


Some of George Eustice’s meaningless slogans:

“Boris Johnson has negotiated a new deal that would deliver an orderly Brexit”
The deal (a rehashed but worse version of the Theresa May deal) is only a withdrawal agreement. On the 1st Feb, we would start the arduous, lengthy and damaging process of agreeing a new trade deal with the EU. It would be a continuation of uncertainty not just for business but many millions of individuals whose lives stand to be severely damaged by the outcome. It would be a continuation of the indeterminable row between different factions of the Tory party about what Brexit actually means – something they have never agreed on. It would also be the moment when Johnson realises that he will have to choose between a trade deal with the US or the EU – he can’t have both – they are mutually incompatible. Wait till that sinks in. There’s also the likelihood that at the end of next year we will have no deal and we will be in crisis again as the old argument between crashing out without a deal or asking yet again for an extension rears its head. Brexit means years of gridlock and uncertainty regardless of how it plays out. The UK’s actual and mounting priorities will continue to be neglected and our standing in the world will continue to be in free fall.


Most of the fish caught in British waters happen to be the kind of fish we don’t want to eat so we export it to the rest of the EU and the kind of fish we do want to eat has to be imported, yes you guessed it, from the rest of the EU. That means the UK needs EU markets to sell fish into, and if we want that access the UK will have to allow EU vessels to keep fishing in British waters. Has George explained to his fishermen and farmers that a trade deal with the EU will mean negotiating new fishing and farming policies with the EU. We will be doing this from a position of weakness, having done our utmost to alienate the now ‘opposing side’ with our lies, smears and abuse and once again with a deadline working against us.  There is no guarantee that the new deal will be any better than our current deal. Is that taking back control?
Claim: “I can confirm that we will take back 100% control of the spectacular marine wealth of this country” Boris Johnson.
Reality: “establish a new fisheries agreement on, inter alia, access to waters and quota shares” by next July 1. (See paras 73 and 74 of Boris johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement)*.
Fishing is a highly complex issue with diverse and conflicting, sometimes irreconcilable, demands and restraints. Reducing it to meaningless slogans that play on emotion and petty nationalism does no one any good, least of all the fishermen and the associated industries.


George Eustice asserts that a vote for Labour is a vote to break up the UK. But no party in modern history has done more to damage the Union than the Tories. They have treated Scotland and Wales with utter contempt refusing to consult, collaborate or seek consensus in the Brexit process. Johnson’s capitulation to the EU in accepting a border down the Irish sea is probably another step towards the re-unification of Ireland but the risks of things turning ugly are much greater because of Brexit.


I hope that Scotland doesn’t leave the UK – we are all stronger together, both EU and UK. We’ve tried a Europe of nationalistic states following narrow short-sighted, self-interest but it proved to be an arrangement that led to two world wars and the mass murder of over 6 million people.
The world needs to work out how countries can retain maximum national independence while working within a structure of cooperation, collaboration, trade, environment, climate etc., all enforced by a set of mutually agreed rules. The EU is by far the most successful attempt at achieving this that the world has ever seen. It’s by no means perfect and is a work in progress and needs much constructive criticism. But it would be a crime to undermine this experiment just to appease those who rely on lies and ignorance for their baseless arguments.

“End of the soft prison sentence”
Slogan devoid of any detail or verifiable fact

The Tories bring this dog whistle out every election ad nauseam because it plays well to its core supporters but there is absolutely nothing in their manifesto that will make a meaningful difference. However, they have presided over the near destruction of the criminal justice system by underfunding, ideological vandalism and ignorant populist interventions aimed only at gaining positive Daily Mail headlines. We already have some of the longest prison sentences, worst repeat offender rates and worst crime rates in western Europe.

Since 2010 there have been multiple changes to sentencing policy. If there is anything wrong with those policies the blame rests entirely with the Conservative government.

Will not make up for the loss of funding over the past 9 years

The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says that the extra £14 billion for education (over three years and not starting until 2022) will only just about bring spending back to the levels when the Tories took office. It will not make up for the lost money of the past 9 years.


Meaningless fact-free slogan

As for the billions for hospital projects, I refer you to Matt “We’re not saying, 50,000 new nurses. We’re saying 50,000 more nurses” Hancock, who has single-handedly destroyed any credibility there might have been for the ’50’ ‘new’ hospitals and 50,000 ‘more’ nurses – it’s a farce. He wouldn’t convince his own grandmother. 

Tellingly, the flyer doesn’t mention Boris Johnson at all.

When lies and deceit prevail in politics democracy dies. Johnson and the current government are a threat to both democracy and the very soul of our country. If they gain a working majority the damage done by years of gridlock and uncertainty as we try to negotiate multiple new trade deals added to the consequences of a hard-right agenda will be irreversible. Neither of the two main opposition parties has earned our loyalty and neither stands a chance of winning so we must Vote Tactically, however painful it is, to prevent a Tory majority and then we must fight for radical reform, for integrity, accountability, transparency & proportional representation. 

If we do vote tactically, we must assert publicly & personally to the recipient of our vote that it is ours, not theirs & they cannot legitimately claim it supports them or their party or manifesto. We are morally obliged to actively oppose any negative consequences of our vote.

Please let me know if I have made any mistakes of fact or logic – I will be happy to correct or amend as necessary. I am also happy to back up my comments with evidence and reasoning.

Sources and references:

Johnson’s biggest lie is that he’ll get Brexit done:

To get his Withdrawal Agreement, PM abandoned NI “backstop” and turned it into a “frontstop” – which is what EU wanted in the first place:

Brexit isn’t just putting checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. It is fuelling demands for Scottish independence. The best way to keep the UK together is to stay in the EU:

“It’s a truism of the fishing world that Britain exports what it catches and imports what it eats. That means the UK needs EU markets to sell fish into, and if they want that access the UK will have to allow EU vessels to keep fishing in British waters.”:

*See page 14 of the revised Political Declaration of the Withdrawal Agreement Oct 2019:


This (below) is just another Boris Johnson lie – they mean nothing to him. But do the people of Cornwall realise they are being taken for fools.




Is this the kind of thing that puts George Eustice off mentioning Boris Johnson in his leaflets?



I have pasted a copy of the flyer below. The evidence speaks for itself, it is devoid of detail, consists mainly of meaningless slogans and most of the small number of facts are actually deceptions or untrue.  He thinks we are fools.

The pernicious influence of right wing lobbyists given a platform by the BBC and #SkyPapers

The regularity with which right-wing lobbyists are given a platform by the BBC & #SkyPapers continues unabated despite a number of scandals. However, this example from back in 2016 should not be forgotten.

This BBC Newsbeat item aimed at young people focusses on a rightwing lobbyist, Kate Andrews (now at the IEA), who is given a platform to promote gun culture & the AK47. She’s introduced simply as a ‘US women’ – no mention of her background.

Link to BBC Newsbeat article:
BBC Newsbeat: A US woman on why she disagrees with Obama on gun control

Kate Andrews BBC Newsbeat Jan 2016

That’s Kate Andrews, Associate Director at the right wing, free-market lobby group IEA and formerly Head of Communications at the right wing, free-market lobby group Adam Smith Institute and staffer on Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. But just a simple ‘US woman’ as far as BBC Newsbeat is concerned.

This is a worrying example partly because promoting the AK47 is far off the spectrum for normal debate in the UK.  Did the BBC search out Kate Andrews in which case did they know about her lobbying background? Or did a lobbying organisation contact the BBC? Was the contact through normal channels or by word of mouth.  Whatever the answer, it’s hard to believe that Kate Andrews’ background was not known to the BBC in which case the description of her as a ‘US woman’ without any background information is beyond disquieting.

To be clear the key issue here is not the topic being presented but a lack of transparency regarding the background of an individual presenting a controversial opinion. The lobby groups that Kate Andrews has been associated with are extremely opaque about their funding but are exactly the kinds of organisation that the US National Rifle Association are likely to support financially.

If BBC Newsbeat is allowing employees of shady right-wing lobby groups to promote AK47s to UK teenagers shouldn’t it be doing an item on shady right-wing lobby groups?

What next, Bannon on the “exhilaration of being a white supremacist”?

The funding league table at shows both the IEA and the Adam Smith Institute are among the organisations (group E) with the most opaque funding.


Watch Mark Littlewood, director of IEA tell you from the horse’s mouth about the so-called “Institute” for Economic Affairs and its funding:

Rightwing thinktank, Adam Smith “Institute”, deletes offer of access to ministers for donors:

Charity Commission, slams IEA over pro-Brexit report backed by Jacob Rees-Mogg:

IEA SLAMMED By Charity Commission:


If you think Kate Andrews promoting the AK47 is bad enough then take a look at this fake video produced by LeaveEU:

Brexit campaign ads are among the first removed by Facebook in a crackdown. Here’s a Leave.EU video ad that includes an appalling example of fake news.

Brexit campaign group Leave.EU’s Facebook videos have become some of the first to be removed by the social network as part of a crackdown on political “dark ads”.  So I thought I would archive one of their video adverts before it’s removed. There are probably worse Leave.EU videos than this one but it stands out not just for exploiting fear and xenophobia but because it is a vile example of fake news – a doctored video clip of a sexual assault purported to take place in Germany but in fact took place in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt.

The video is called ‘Worrying Scenes in Europe’ and consists of a series of clips, mostly from ‘Russia Today’ (RT), of the kind of incident that occurs from time to time in almost any country. They cover an unspecified time period and all show incidents of violent disorder but with no background information.  One of the clips is presented as a sexual assault taking place in Germany. This is clearly meant to reinforce a narrative that LeaveEU has been keen to push.  However, the clip is actually of an assault that took place in Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2013.

The image below shows the video appearing as a result of a search of the Leave.EU videos on their Facebook site.

Facebook page
Facebook page captured Nov2018

We can see that the video has been viewed 1.4 million times.

The actual Leave.EU video is below.

Warning the sexual assault clip, while not explicit, is still disturbing and some may not wish to view any of this video.  Additional warning – I fear, but have deliberately not checked, that somewhere out on the internet there is a longer, possibly more explicit, version of the video so I really do suggest that you avoid doing a search for the video. There’s plenty of text-based information about the incident from reliable sources.

The video was captured Nov 2018 and as of 1st Dec 2018 it was still available on the Leave.EU Facebook page at 

You will see that the Leave.EU video claims that the sexual assault took place in Germany but it’s clear from the almost identical clip below from ‘Daily News Egypt’ that the incident, in fact, took place in Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2013.

When comparing the two videos it can be seen that the Leave.EU video has been cropped to cut out the official no smoking sign at the top right of centre which is written in both Egyptian and English.

So this is an example of a nasty and dishonest advert that aims to exploit and incite fear, xenophobia and racism and includes a blatant example of fake news.

As of 1st December 2018 this video had not been removed from the Leave.EU Facebook video list. Does this mean the videos that Facebook have already told Leave.EU to remove are even worse?

Remember that Leave won the EU referendum with a margin of just 3.8% which means that only 1.9% of those who voted needed to vote the other way for the result to be reversed. If the referendum had been held a day earlier or later the result could have been reversed just by natural variations in who voted.

A referendum determined by only 1.9% of those who voted (just 1.4% of the electorate) is open to being swayed by the smallest of factors. Who can possibly deny that the deceit and lies of the LeaveEU campaign could easily have been the deciding factor?

LeaveEU lies

UPDATE April 2019: As of 16th April 2019 the LeaveEU video is still available on their Facebook page.


Mark Littlewood of the IEA has blocked me in response to my ‘Trojan Horse attack on the NHS’ comment.

Recently I saw a tweet (pasted below) from Kate Andrews of the right-wing lobby group ‘The  Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) and thought it was disingenuous for two reasons:
1. The IEA has, for some time, been using comparisons between the NHS and other European health care systems to undermine the NHS and yet most European systems will be almost as unacceptable to a right-wing libertarian organisation like IEA as the NHS. I assume the tactic is to undermine the NHS initially and then ditch any pretence of promoting other forms of universal health care in favour of a neoliberal ‘utopia’ where everyone is able to access the care they need from private providers using private insurance.

2. Kate refers vaguely to the whole of the developed world while neglecting to mention that the largest country in the developed world, the US, does not have universal health care and also has some of the worst health outcomes.

In my reply, I try to address these issues.

Tweet 1 & 2In reply Mark Littlewood, (Director General of the IEA) posted the message below:

Tweet 3Before I had a chance to reply he posted his final message, below and then blocked me.

Tweet 4

If I had been given the chance to reply I might have mentioned that:

  • the IEA is inextricably linked to individuals and organisations in the US that are aggressively opposed to any health care reform that undermines the power and dominance of private, for-profit insurance corporations.
  • we would be naive in the extreme if we did not expect those corporations to have their eyes on the NHS.
  • my trojan horse may not have been clear – I was trying to suggest that the IEA campaign of undermining the NHS by comparing it to other European health systems was a subterfuge (my trojan horse) for softening us up for a US corporate take over of the NHS.
  • yes, the British public does want universal health care. But we were never consulted about the sell-off of NHS provision to companies like Virgin and we can be forgiven if we don’t share Mark’s complacency and are wary that this is just the thin end of the wedge.
  • ‘why would any company abandon universal health care?’ You are joking Mark. Universal health care would never be provided by private insurance without government intervention and that would be the antithesis of everything the IEA stands for.


UPDATE: Slowly but surely the murky world of dark money and phoney think tanks is being exposed:

Rightwing UK thinktank ‘offered ministerial access’ to potential US donors. Institute of Economic Affairs boss, Mark Littlewood, tells undercover reporter it is in ‘Brexit-influencing game’:

The Brexit-influencing game: how IEA got involved with a US rancher:

Head of the IEA Mark Littlewood: “Our advertising value equivalent on the media last calendar year was £66m.” And most of that was probably on the BBC.

Leading Brexiteers are on record as wanting to dismantle the NHS:

Liam Fox says people warning NHS will be sold off in Brexit trade deal with Trump are ‘anti-trade’:



‘Spiked’ launches a demented, fact free attack on “Stop Funding Hate”.

The bizarre on line magazine, Spiked, has launched another fact free attack on a campaign it doesn’t like.  These two very similar articles from Spiked writers were published within days of each other:

“The hatefulness of stop funding hate” by Naomi Firsht,
Staff writer at Spiked:

“Stop Funding Hate: a nasty, elitist campaign for press censorship” by Brendan O’Neill, in the Spectator (16th Nov 2016):
  (Brendan O’Neill is editor of Spiked)

I don’t hold any brief for the “Stop Funding Hate” campaign apart from noting the obvious good sense of its title, so I took a closer look.

Try what may I couldn’t find any evidence whatsoever to support Spiked’s claim that this campaign is a “hateful, nasty elitist campaign for press censorship”.

What the two Spiked writers have done is simply made stuff up, distorted reality and mixed it all up with an endless stream of worthless straw-men arguments.

The inflammatory and, to be honest, demented and hate filled  tone of the two Spiked articles is in stark contrast to the calm reasoned tone of “Stop funding hate”.   If you are a Spiked supporter nothing I say will influence you, but if you came this way interested in a more open minded, evidence based view of “Stop funding hate”, I suggest you check out “Stop funding hate” for yourself.

Here is their video advert:

Here are some more links:

Meet the man behind Stop Funding Hate, the campaign tackling racist tabloids (Article from The Tab by Callum McCulloch):

Stop Funding Hate:    Facebook page         Twitter account.

Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to ‘Stop Funding Hate’:


Most of us are very wary of government involvement in monitoring the press. Spiked authors take this further and are generally  opposed to any government involvement in any aspect of our lives but on the other hand are very happy for market forces to replace the role of democratically accountable government. It’s therefore pretty hypocritical of Spiked to criticise anyone who dares to make use of those market forces.   Lego and Waitrose etc are free to do as they wish, customers are free to do as they wish, ‘intellectual elites’ are free to do as they wish, what could Spiked possibly object to?

Finally, I repeat, where is the hate in this campaign – perhaps it’s only in the minds and straw-men of Spiked authors.

To get some reality based perspective on this debate let’s remind ourselves of some tabloid front pages:

xenophobic headlines



Spiked Authors – Apologists for the far right
Here is a Spiked article by their deputy editor Tom Slater in which he acts as apologist for the far right groups, Breitbart and Alt-right.

Here’s a video of an alt-right conference meeting led by Richard B. Spencer, in Washington, D.C., where Trump’s victory was met with cheers and Nazi salutes. (Read the full article:…)

Spiked authors assert that worrying about Trump, his cronies and advisers is “hysteria and fear-mongering”. I’ll leave the reader to watch this video and decide for themselves.

Finally, a message to Spiked writers:  If the only time you defend free speech is when the speech is racist, sexist, homophobic or white supremacist, …. you don’t love free speech.

More about Spiked on Line here:



Invoke Article 50 Now – Invoke Democracy Now – Uphold the Brexit vote!


spiked protest (2)

‘Invoke Democracy Now’ and ‘Invoke Article 50 Now’ are campaigns sponsored by the online magazine ‘Spiked’ (see web page header above). Their latest “Demo for democracy: uphold the Brexit vote!” was held on 5th September to coincide with a debate in the invoke democracy nowcommons on a petition which gained over 4 million signatures.  The petition, set up by a Brexit supporter before the referendum was held, called for the Government to annul the results if the Remain or Leave vote won by less than 60 per cent on a turnout of less than 75 per cent (the turn out was 72%).

Whether you supported Brexit or Leave it might be interesting to know a little more about ‘Spiked’.  The history of Spiked and many of its contributors is bizarre to say the least, as is its current output.

The team at Spiked and the associated Institute of Ideas are part of a loose and informal network of individuals and organisations sharing a libertarian and anti-environmentalist ideology. It is led by people associated with the defunct Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and its publication Living Marxism.  Members of this network, who seem to have transitioned from marxism to right wing neolibertarians, have obtained influential positions with other organisations and the network also has extensive youth oriented programmes.

For more information check these links:

Spiked, The institute of Ideas and Living Marxism

Invasion of the Entryists

Who Are They? Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas

Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here. (Institute of Ideas / Spiked on Line)

Why does this matter?

It is clear from reading Spiked on Line that this is an organisation that is unashamedly post fact, post evidence and post reason. Their articles invariably take the simplistic and evidence free route of blaming all our problems on experts, a ‘metropolitan elite’, left wing media and of course the EU. You will have to search very hard to find any analysis of the role of banks, corporations, free market ideologues, press barons, or right wing politicians that exploit populism for their own ends.

I don’t expect you to take my word for it – just take a look for yourself.

If you think that the ‘chattering classes’ are the source of all evil you will love this Andrew Bolt interview with Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill. If you prefer a more rational and reasoned approach I suspect you will be horrified. Let me know.




Who is behind the campaigning group “Invoke Democracy Now”.

invoke democracy now2

“Invoke Democracy Now”  Claims to be a “post-Brexit campaigning group set up to inspire wider public discussion of Brexit and democracy and to call on the government to uphold the vote.” but who is behind the organisation?

The answer looks like ‘Spiked‘, a right wing neo-libertarian online magazine.


Prominent speakers at “Invoke Democracy Now”‘s first meeting (14th July) were:

Claire Fox – Director, Institute of Ideas and writer for Spiked.

Brendan O’Neill – Editor, Spiked Online

invoke democracy now


The contact details for the meeting and the organisation were via Saleha Ali, who happens to have written five articles for Spiked.

On Twitter the meeting was promoted by Justine Brian, who also happens to be a writer for Spiked and the National Administrator of the Institute of Ideas and Pfizer Debating Matters Competition, an “innovative and engaging new style of debating competition for sixth form students in the UK”.Justine Brian Tweet 2

The leading organisers of both the Institute of Ideas and Spiked are linked by their bizarre background in the Revolutionary Communist Tendency/Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and its principal publication Living Marxism.  This link gives a summary of this informal network of individuals and organisations: Living Network (LM):

In response to Justine Brian’s Tweet above I asked her for information about the people behind “Invoke Democracy Now” her response is below:

justine brian 3

Ironically, Justine’s response is very similar to the first sentence of this summary of the Living Marxism Network.

Justine’s lack of transparency matches the lack of transparency on the meeting’s publicity material as in this example from Eventbrite.

Strangely Spiked seem to be running two almost identical campaigns in parallel.  Unlike “Invoke Democracy Now”, “Invoke Article 50 Now” is clearly sponsored by Spiked as indicated on the professionally produced posters of this small band of protesters.

spiked protest

I have written about the Spiked “Invoke Article 50 Now” campaign here.

More on Spiked and the Institute of Ideas:

Invasion of the Entryists

Who Are They? Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas

Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here. (Institute of Ideas / Spiked on Line)


Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here. (Institute of Ideas / Spiked on Line)

“Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here” is the title of an ‘Institute of Ideas’ and Spiked on line, event with apparently just three speakers, all Spiked members, Frank Furedi, Claire Fox and Tom Slater.


I was attracted by the title but appalled by the briefing notes for the meeting:


Throughout the notes the author does exactly what he/she accuses the opposing camp of doing, i.e. showing contempt for the opposing view by taking individual examples of outrageous slurs and then attributing them to everyone in the opposing camp.  The author has made unfounded assertions, and cherry picked the evidence, and/or distorted it to fit a narrative.

This did not bode well for the meeting especially when the only speakers appear to be members of the right wing, neo-libertarian ‘Spiked’ online magazine. Surely effective planning to engage in a battle for democracy needs input from, and be open to, a wide range of opinions and views.

I voted to remain. I thought about the issues carefully and tried very hard to be objective and reasoned. I appreciate that others came to different conclusions and I admit that my vote was for what I considered the least worst of a binary choice which did not allow me to express my actual preference. However it was made in good faith. To be smeared and denigrated by the Spiked speakers because I did not make the same choice as them is not the best way to involve me in an open debate on the way forward.

I did not attend the meeting so cannot judge what actually happened but I can only say that the closed minded tone of the briefing notes would have put me off attending even if I didn’t happen to live 300 miles away.

Out of interest I listened to IoI’s latest podcast “Podcast of Ideas: post-referendum special”. Three Spiked members spend 30 minutes on a partisan, narrow minded rant about those who voted to remain.  With no other guests there was no one to call them out on their litany of straw man arguments, unfounded assertions and cherry picked examples.  A waste of 30 minutes and not an encouragement for me to engage further.

Here’s the link (Podcast of Ideas: post-referendum special”) – check for your self:

UPDATE (03/07/2016).  OK I have now listened to all bar the last 30 minutes of the two hour “Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here” (Link:

Early on, one of the speakers, Frank Ferudi, I think, said that the meeting was not a Brexit rally. But in reality as far as the speakers were concerned this was pretty much what it turned out to be. There were a few good questions from the audience and Frank Furudi indulged in a bizarre and meandering discussion about identity. However the over riding impression was that Ferudi and particularly Clarie Fox, spent a significant amount of their time slagging off those who had voted remain using stereotypes and caricatures – exactly what they accused the remainers of doing.  There was a forceful but unsubstantiated defence of the referendum process without any analysis or even mention of the aspects of the process that concerned those who regard the referendum as a travesty of democracy.

What stood out for me about the input of Ferudi and Fox was the total absence of any discussion about how our democracy might be developed post Brexit and how we should “fight the battle for democracy”. This was the title of the meeting but was absent from the speakers input apart from a plea that we should make sure that Brexit actually happens.  No discussion of the future of democracy or the mechanics of how we make our political system more democratic.

The title of the meeting attracted my attention. I wanted to hear from Claire Fox and Frank Ferudi  how we might ‘fight the battle for democracy’?  I was badly disappointed. In reality the meeting was simply a Brexit Rally aimed at motivating the faithful.

If the Spiked On Line speakers want to recruit non zealots to their ‘Invoke Article 50 Now’ campaign they could start by at least trying to substantiate their assertions about brexit and democracy.  “Carrying out the will of the people” and “the people have spoken” are words taken from the vocabularies of demagogues, not democrats and result in the tyranny of the majority. History gives us ample evidence that this is not a wise system of government.

The lack of any substantive discussion about how democracy after brexit involves anything more than a transfer of control to a more right-wing branch of the Tory party, plus increased influence by right-wing plutocrats like Arron Banks does not convince. Our current flawed and limited democracy is subverted by neo libertarian politicians, demagogues and corporate power, the Spiked speakers have not offered any plan for preventing this process from accelerating after brexit.

Oh and finally just a reminder – democracy does include the right to dissent, including immediately after an election or referendum.


“Not on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Salisbury MP, John Glen, made the following promise back in 2010 “we must not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society”

Salisbury MP, John Glen, has consistently voted in favour of cuts to local government spending (40% since 2010) that have had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in our society.

In fact John has voted in favour of every cut his government has made, irrespective of the damaging impact those cuts have had on the most vulnerable.

Those votes have included votes in favour of successive welfare changes that have disproportionally hit disabled people, such as cuts to social care and the recently passed cuts to employment support allowance. The cuts will reduce benefits by £30 a week for those in the work-related group.

John has failed to publicly acknowledge any concern about his government’s use of spin, misuse of data and misleading rhetoric to smear all benefits claimants as scroungers and skivers. [2]

We now have a budget in which George Osborne is taking $4bn from disabled people to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Those who will benefit from the tax cuts include MPs like John Glen who have just had an 11% salary increase.

To make matters worse, the way the cuts in personal independence payments (PIP) for disabled people were announced, has inevitably caused maximum upset and fear amongst the most vulnerable in our society.

So perhaps it is time to remind Mr Glen of this promise he made in 2010:

John Glen MP – “we must not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society”

It’s time for John Glen to come clean and stand by his promise.

UPDATE (22.29 18.03.16): Since I wrote the above, the government seems to have retreated on the PIP cuts and Iain Duncan Smith has resigned stating as his reason the shambles that is George Osborne’s cuts to disability benefits.  This stretches our credulity to breaking point given that IDS has been the government cheerleader for benefit cuts and has a very nasty line in benefit scrounger rhetoric.

A more plausible explanation is that his resignation is an opportunistic but desperate attempt to distance himself from the disaster that the Department of Work and Pensions has become under his leadership. [3]

Another possibility is that his resignation may be an even more desperate attempt to give some life to his Brexit campaign by undermining his chief opponent, George Osborne.

Whatever the motives, they do not appear honourable.


[1] IDS loses legal challenge to keep Universal Credit problems secret:

[2] The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of the times:

[3] Universal credit is a tale of failure that’s still unfolding:

[4] If we are not ‘all in it together’, this is largely due to Duncan Smith:

[5] Chancellor’s Budget giveaways failed to support an all-out assault on poverty ( Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)):

[6] George Osborne’s credibility has been brutally exposed by the departure of the secretary of state for work and pensions:

The IDS way: Victorian morality, reforming zeal and gross incompetence:

Here are 15 cuts and failures Iain Duncan Smith didn’t resign over:–byx3nvyu3JZ

George Osborne’s only solution to our economic problems – more austerity. No rationale, no logic, no evidence, just the ‘right thing to do’.  Very reminiscent of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”: