The cough drop kid strikes again

When I signal, pass me a cough drop and I’ll crack a gag

Hammond apes the antics of Bob Hope in an old movie called The Lemon Drop Kid in which Hope would put a lemon drop in ear which would attract race horses at the track who would nibble his ear.

He would kid his gullible audience that the horse was whispering him a tip, at which he would gather up their money on this ‘sure thing’ and then disappear with the loot.

Hammond and May seem to have adopted the same con trick with their cough lozenges.

They distract the audience while slippery Phil pulls his con. The difference between him and Hope is that he fools nobody.

Even former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell, who is now the chair of the membership body for health service care providers (talk about putting Billy Bunter in charge of the tuck shop!) observed ‘It is extremely important that the two words “social care” didn’t pass the chancellor’s lips on budget day.’ It is clear that the Tories quaver at Hammond’s gaffes and utterances.

In any case the tax dodgers who bankroll the Tory Party can rest easy as long as Phil and Teresa stay in charge.

Universal Credit is still in place. Decent affordable housing won’t be available. The tops of HMRC advise the fat cats how to dodge their tax responsibilities. Public sector pay is still capped. What’s not to be content with?

They’d better make the best of it. A Corbyn-led government is waiting in the wings. With an almighty shove  organised Labour can and should organise to turf them into the dustbin of history.

 

The myopic thoughts of Philip Hammond

 

Philip Hammond’s demeanor as he intones on jobs, the NHS and unemployment reveal a man who lives not only in a bubble, but a bubble of such impenetrable density that it protects him from the reality of life outside that of the mega rich.

His pearls include ‘The economy is healing’, ‘There is no unemployment’, ‘There are no low paid jobs’

Not to mention the catastrophe of Universal Credit affecting the lives of thousands, he is unaware of the plight of the 1.5 million people unemployed, and at least a million people on zero-hours contracts.

He regurgitates the Tory claim about more people being employed than ever before. An estimated 3 million of these are in the gig economy without a future or basic security to plan a decent life.

Hammond says the budget would be ‘balanced’. That word used to imply fairness. In Hammond’s world it means balancing income in favour of the mega rich.

The chilling thing about him is that he really believes the claptrap he utters.

Like Colonel Dax in WWI film Paths of Glory who asks the corrupt French general who tries to justify the execution of three innocent foot soldiers sacrificed to protect a crazed commander from the failure of a suicide mission: ‘Excuse me sir, but do you really believe a single word of what you have just said.’

The French general didn’t, but Hammond does. That’s why any appeal to reason is wasted. What is required is a mass campaign to force a general election and rid the country of this government of the oligarchs.

 

Rail dispute: Mayors’ break cover – call for ‘mutually acceptable solution’. RMT suggested the solution months ago.

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THE MAYORS’ CALL FOR A SETTLEMENT OVER GUARDS ON TRAINS

In a master-class of fence sitting Mayors Anderson and Rotheram have issued a joint statement calling for both parties – the RMT and Merseyrail – to work out a ‘mutually acceptable solution’.  The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – an anti-austerity, pro-Corbyn coalition – along with the 90% of the public who support the RMT, recognise this sentiment as representing  a great leap forward on Mayor Rotheram’s part as his hitherto silence on the matter had raised questions about his understanding of what was at stake, and Mayor Anderson’s open hostility to the Union’s stance.

TUSC believes that the RMT’s call to maintain safety on trains is a paramount condition of any settlement, and referring the matter to ACAS will not alter that.

TUSC will continue to support the RMT in its great campaign of meetings and industrial action. They have won the argument among the public hands down. It’s up to Merseyrail to recognise the validity of the RMT’s case and settle now.

Roger Bannister, TUSC candidate for city region mayor in May, said: “During the city regional Mayor election I was the only candidate who consistently supported the guards and opposed the introduction of Driver Only Trains. I urged Steve Rotheram to join me in that stance but received only silence. Now Steve has found his voice, he should come out clearly and instruct the Labour councillors on the Transport Committee to vote to keep the guards.”

It is incredible that Labour councillors have to be reminded that their responsibility is not to represent the few, but to represent the many. That is the reason for the Labour Party’s existence. Also that it is official Labour Party policy to support the RMT’s campaign.

The public and the RMT have spoken: put safety before profit by retaining the guards.

That the world’s super-rich own vast sums of wealth and squirrel it away in whatever ways they can find is nothing new. The revelations of the Paradise Papers confirmed their behaviour. But the news that Salvator Mundi, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, has sold at Christie’s in New York for $450.3m, including auction house premium, shattering the world record for any work of art sold at auction takes capitalist chicanery to a whole new level.

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That the world’s super-rich own vast sums of wealth and squirrel it away in whatever ways they can find is nothing new. The revelations of the Paradise Papers confirmed their behaviour.

But the news that Salvator Mundi, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, has sold at Christie’s in New York for $450.3m, including auction house premium, shattering the world record for any work of art sold at auction takes capitalist chicanery to a whole new level.

This obscene amount was paid on the same day that a letting agency in Grimsby issued hundreds of tenants with a pre-emptive eviction notice ahead of the rollout of universal credit.

And at a time of unrelenting austerity, justified by the mantra ‘we’ve got to live within our means’ still spewed out by a discredited, illegitimate Tory government and their bag carriers of the media, underlines the imperative of changing the whole system.

The painting was consigned to Christie’s by Russian fertiliser oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who plundered the Russian state controlled facility when the wall came down.

This transaction is a method of the super-rich, with more wealth than they know what to do with, to feed their egos and to hedge their wealth against a possible economic collapse.

Ironically, this is the portrait of JC (not Jeremy). A man who organised the poor and downtrodden against the roman dictatorship, who drove the Thatcherite money-changers out of the temple, and who preached the brotherhood of man. This trouble-causer was, of course, crucified. I’m sure he would stand aghast at his pic being used to feed the greed of the oligarchs.

The remedy?

To give us a proper view of what wealth exists and the funds to invest in jobs and services we would require the nationalisation of the banks and finance companies under democratic workers’ control and management.

This would also allow the bank accounts of the rich to be frozen and transactions controlled to prevent them trying send their money abroad to protect their wealth from such progressive measures. I’m sure both JCs would approve.

Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS FREng, is a darling of the Tories and member of the mega rich oligarchy. He announced publicly on Sunday that corporation tax should be abolished, and it should be easier to fire workers.

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Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS FREng, is a darling of the Tories and member of the mega rich oligarchy.

He announced publicly on Sunday that corporation tax should be abolished, and it should be easier to fire workers.

Although the UK has the most restrictive labour laws and the poorest protection for workers in the developed world, it is still not enough for Dyson and his class.

He symbolises the profit-greedy, short-sighted, callous and insensitive character of modern capitalism

He espouses the theory, adopted by every modern free-marketeer, that the less the mega-rich are taxed, the more they will invest in jobs and services.

A brief glance as history shows this is completely false. In today’s world, more so than in the past, the primary objective of capitalism is to make the biggest profits and to deliver the fattest pay cheque to the shareholders in the shortest possible time.

Cuts in tax – corporation or otherwise – does not result in greater investment but in increased plunder for the big shareholders.

When interviewed by Andrew Marr he gave the impression of being a warm-hearted jovial chap who would lend you a few bob if you were starving, yet seems totally unaware of the chilling consequences for workers of the policies he advocates.

These people succeed in their relentless pursuit of greater wealth when the Labour Movement is weakened and ineffectual. That’s why they adore Thatcherism/Blairism, and love the anti-trade union legislation introduced by the Tories and strengthened in their favour by Blair.

They will not change by, as John McDonnell says, having a cup of tea with them. A Corbyn government will have to take measures to acquire this wealth and utilise it for the benefit of the millions and not the few.

 

Another champion of the poor enters the cabinet

Another champion of the poor enters the cabinet

Another political giant enters the Cabinet. Mordaunt helped the DWP make universal credit the resounding disaster it was.

She last made an impression on anyone by standing in front of a Vote Leave £350m bus wearing a swimsuit.

She claimed Turkey’s membership of the EU, with it’s potential to send 70million refugees to the UK, was imminent.

The mission of this farsighted genius is ‘to save the poorest of the world.’

The tax-dodgers of the world will be holding their collective breath, hoping they will be included in her generous intentions.

Patel: from shambles to chaos. If the Tory government was a horse the poor creature would be put down

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This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me in.

If the Tory government was a horse the poor creature would be put down. But instead this Tory beast carries on with it’s anti-working class activities, bankrolled and cheered on by Britain’s  tax dodgers.

Labour councils carry on with their horrific cuts, Universal Credit wrecks lives. So-called Labour politicians ally themselves with international capitalists against the RMT.

Action is needed now by those in the leadership. McNicol’s wing of Labour battles to save Blairism by expelling socialists, aided and abetted by Momentum’s leadership who claim there is nothing to fear from Blairite MPs, so mandatory reselection is off the agenda.

The working class can’t  afford to wait while this zombie government lurches from one unpredictable step to another. Jeremy must act now. Call a national assembly of Labour Party, anti-austerity organisations and trade unions willing to act to devize an immediate strategy to compel May to declare a general election.