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Magic of Thatcherism and Reagonomics

by Oui Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 08:56:34 AM EST

The offspring in name of Theresa May - Tories - and rightwing Donald Trump, the personification of American Capitalism ...

Amber Rudd to lodge complaint over UN's austerity report | The Guardian |

Rudd will argue that Alston is politically biased and did not do enough research. The minister is seeking guidance from the Foreign Office on the best way to respond after Alston compared her department's welfare policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses.

Alston quoted the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes to warn that unless austerity was ended and welfare cuts were reversed, millions of poorer Britons faced lives that would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".

More below the fold ...

The 21-page report said the government appeared unwilling to debate the impact of its austerity policies since 2010, which it said were "in clear violation of the country's human rights obligations".

The UN has condemned Tory welfare policies. Labour must end this shame | The Guardian - Opinion |

How did Britain in 2019 - one of the wealthiest societies that has ever existed - end up being damned by a United Nations report for condemning the poor to lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"? These are the words of the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes; another British literary great conjured up by Prof Philip Alston - the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and a bete noir of our crumbling government - is Charles Dickens and his vivid description of the 19th-century workhouse now being brought back in "a digital and sanitised version".

The government, he contended, was guilty of the "systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population", and that "much of the glue that has held British society together since the second world war has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos".

That ethos, and its collision with reality, lies at the root of our present turmoil. This week, the BBC broadcast the first instalment of Thatcher: A Very British Revolution. It begins with a speech from 1985, just weeks after the defeat of the miners' strike, and near the zenith of her powers. "With capitalism and free enterprise, there are no boundaries of class or creed or colour," she declared. "Everyone can climb the ladder as high as their talents will take them."

Here was Thatcherism in its populist iteration: the individual would be freed from the stifling constraints of the state and collectivism, and through grit, determination and ability, one could rise to the very top. But this philosophy would prove all too convenient when it came to rationalising exploding levels of inequality. Those whose bank balances boomed in the 1980s just happened to the best, the most talented, hard-working go-getters; those at the bottom of the pecking order were lazy, lacking in aspiration and ambition - stupid, even.


How Britain changed under Margaret Thatcher in 15 charts

One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter | The Guardian - Nov. 2017 |

Using official government data and freedom of information returns from local authorities, it estimates that 307,000 people are sleeping rough, or accommodated in temporary housing, bed and breakfast rooms, or hostels - an increase of 13,000 over the past year.

Shelter said the figures were an underestimate as they did not include people trapped in so-called "hidden homelessness", who have nowhere to live but are not recorded as needing housing assistance, and end up "sofa surfing".

London, where one in every 59 people are homeless, remains Britain's homelessness centre. Of the top 50 local authority homelessness "hotspots", 18 were in Greater London, with Newham, where one in 27 residents are homeless, worst hit.

However, while London's homeless rates have remained largely stable over the past year, the figures show the problem is becoming worse in leafier commuter areas bordering the capital, such as Broxbourne, Luton, and Chelmsford.

Big regional cities have also seen substantial year-on-year increases in the rate of homelessness. In Manchester, one in 154 people are homeless (compared with one in 266 in 2016); in Birmingham one in 88 are homeless (119); in Bristol one in 170 are affected (199).


Well, of course, it's not only England "devolving' under the heels of mental midgets --or "some rabid fucking wolves", as it were. iirc, "food poverty" and "fuel poverty" were memorable talking points in 2014 amidst a variety of "crime prevention" experiments on the yoots. I for one will be delighted to discover if the SNP will indeed deliver the other referendum on or before the ECJ takes up review of crimes against humanity in the UK. Whatever the case, I am pleased to see no money wasted on electronic, touch-screen ballots!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 01:55:22 PM EST
A "cross"? What are the Jews supposed to do? Isn't this antisemitism?

Seriously. In Israel, they used to teach schoolchildren to use a three-sided symbol for addition, so that it wouldn't resemble a cross. Actually, it was exactly like the cross in Flemish painting, but they didn't know that.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 02:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at that ballot paper, it seems The Brexit Party missed a very obvious trick. By putting "The" in front of their name, they ended up near the very bottom of a long ballot paper just before UKIP.

Had they omitted the "the", they would have been at the top of the ballot paper. Studies in Ireland have shown that voters often plump for the first name they find vaguely attractive, giving those near the top of the ballot paper a distinct advantage.

ChangeUK, appearing, at the top and just above the Conservatives may therefore benefit from this, as otherwise "Brexit Party" would have been placed just above them.

Of course in Ireland, you vote for a person, not a party, so people with names beginning with A,B,C etc. have a statistically better chance of being elected than those with names beginning near the end of the alphabet.

So far it hasn't hurt Varadker, but it may have given Bertie Ahern an initial advantage...

"Initial" - geddit? oh never mind...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 07:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the many millions effected by the incompetence of the PM Theresa May. Bless the day she leaves politics for good!

From today's article in The Guardian ...

Exit Theresa May. Stand by for a summer of Tory fratricide and country-shafting

From Europe, the Shakespearean drama has no happy ending ...

British politics: Shakespeare in action | Japan Times Opinion- July 2016 |

    "It's a bit like a Shakespeare play -- specifically the final scene of Hamlet, when almost all the play's major characters die violently. And now we're down to one. Her name is Theresa May."

Theresa May becomes UK's latest Brexit political casualty

From Europe ...

by Oui on Fri May 24th, 2019 at 04:10:29 PM EST
The play still has Fortinbras, played by Juncker. But I suspect it will really be more like King Lear.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 24th, 2019 at 04:32:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tears, sippy cup
May and Trump have struggled at times to present a united front. During a trip to the U.K. last year, the president ripped May's progress on delivering a Brexit deal, telling British tabloid The Sun that May did not follow his advice when it came to the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European trade bloc and that in turn had put a potential U.S.-U.K. trade deal in jeopardy. The interview dropped while Trump was still at a gala thrown by May and he backtracked his comments the next day.

This spring, Trump said during a meeting with Ireland's prime minister that he was "surprised at how badly" Brexit was going.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 24th, 2019 at 06:11:06 PM EST
July 4th 1776 U.S. Independence Day - British King George

June 23rd 2016 Brexit referendum - British vote for U.S. Interdependence -

Trump all smiles as it was the moment his campaign picked up steam ... Russian steam? Assange and Wikileaks? Or just very poor performance by veteran Hillary Clinton?

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: Donald Trump's Friends Are About to Dominate British Politics | Newsweek - today |

I just saw an interview with a Democratic candidate for the primaries ... Andrew Yang. A true 21st century candidate ... tebhnocrat and business person ... looking forward to the events in 2020. Interview - C-span

In Seattle visit, presidential hopeful Andrew Yang calls on Amazon to admit job loss from automation

Hmmm ... ???? ... Bret Stephens?

by Oui on Fri May 24th, 2019 at 06:56:52 PM EST
by Oui on Sat May 25th, 2019 at 05:59:30 AM EST
by Oui on Sat May 25th, 2019 at 06:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN's Guterres calls for strong EU to avoid 'new Cold War' | DW |

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was awarded the Charlemagne Prize for promoting European unity.

The annual prize was first awarded in 1949 and is named after the medieval monarch who ruled much of modern-day France, Germany, the Low Countries and Central Europe from the German city of Aachen.

Guterres, who is a former prime minister of Portugal, was chosen by the prize committee chosen for his advocacy of cooperation, tolerance, pluralism and multilateral cooperation.

After being presented the medal in Aachen city hall's ornate Coronation Room, Guterres gave a speech highlighting the importance of a strong European Union.

Guterres said the EU was too important to fail. "The failure of Europe would inevitably be the failure of multilateralism and the failure of a world in which the rule of law can prevail," he emphasized.

As this year's Charlemagne Prize winner, Guterres joins a cadre of world leaders that have been given the honor, including Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, French President Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis.

Antonio Guterres: The UN's utopian, guardian and cosmopolitan

Related reading ...

The Anglo Disease -- An ET comment thread
Europe is doomed! Special Decline and Defeatism edition

by Oui on Thu May 30th, 2019 at 08:52:43 PM EST
LOL. Remember when he was just a lowly, sniveling technocrat (in the manner of MONTI) for the austeritarian horde of bond holders?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 31st, 2019 at 02:13:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Mon Jun 3rd, 2019 at 09:42:15 PM EST

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