Donald Trump winning the US election shouldn’t really have come as a surprise to British people given that we’re still dealing with the huge act of economic self-harm the British public inflicted on themselves earlier in 2016.
Even though it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, Trump’s shock victory has still dominated the mainstream press and social media alike since it happened.
Meanwhile several things have been going on in Tory Britain that have slipped quietly under the news radar during US election week.
- 1. The homelessness charity Shelter reported that 120,000 children will spend this Christmas homeless, and that the new lower Tory benefit cap will end up impoverishing an estimated 319,000 children. If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s crystal clear now that Tory austerity policies end up economically punishing children for the “crime” of being born into poor families.
- 2. The Tory assault on children’s rights suffered a setback in the House of Lords where peers voted against the Tory plan to allow local governments to opt out of child protection measures. This Tory effort to build a “bonfire of children’s rights” is clearly designed to make the privatisation of child protection services more appealing to corporate outsourcing giants like G4S, Capita and Serco. This vote in the Lords is more of a setback than a defeat though because Tory ministers can always simply reinstate the clause to scrap child safety standards when the child and social work bill returns to the House of Commons.
- 3. The latest figures from the Trussell Trust food bank showed that the increase in food bank dependency in the UK is still continuing. The charity handed out a record number of food parcels in 2015-16 and their evidence shows that two of the three leading causes of food poverty were benefit delays and Tory welfare cuts, accounting for over 40% of referrals between them.
- 4. A long-awaited report from the United Nations absolutely hammered the Tory government for their savage mistreatment of disabled people. Not only did the report find that Tory welfare cuts have disproportionately impacted disabled people and hindered their rights to live independently and be included in their communities, the report also found that disabled people in Britain have suffered a barrage of right-wing anti-disability propaganda that has routinely portrayed disabled people as “dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy or putting a burden on taxpayers”.
- 5. Theresa May’s government suffered a humiliating setback in the Supreme Court where the High Court ruling that Tory “Bedroom Tax” discriminates against disabled adults and children was upheld.
- 6. The Brexiter argument that the collapse in the value of the pound has been a great thing for exports took a massive blow when it was revealed that the UK trade deficit has widened significantly to £12.7 billion. Not only did the vast gap between imports and exports grow dramatically, the volume of UK exports actually fell by £200 million. The Brexiter argument that a collapsing currency is great for the economy is utterly daft because the UK continues to import vastly more than it exports, but when the economic evidence shows that the collapse in currency value has coincided with a significant decline in exports, even the argument that it’s good for the export sector begins to look incredibly weak. Even though the economic evidence shows that this Brexiter delight at the collapse in the value of the pound is misguided, we can look forward to Theresa May and the Tories continuing to spread the ludicrous myth that a weak currency is good for our (import dominated) economy.
- 7. The Bank of England responded to Theresa May’s ignorant blame-casting rhetoric at the Tory party conference by releasing a report on the relationship between inflation and interest rates that demonstrated that Theresa May simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about when it comes to monetary policy (which is no surprise given the economically illiterate myths about monetary policy spread by her predecessors Cameron and Osborne).
- 8. The Institute for Fiscal Studies identified a £25 billion black hole in the UK public finances.
- 9. The Crown Prosecution Service are considering a “corrupt practices” case against the Vote Leave mob (which included high profile Tory government ministers like Boris Johnson) for lying to the electorate over claims like the “Let’s give the NHS the £350 million a week …” lie and their false claims that “Turkey is joining the EU”.
- 10. Theresa May visited India in order to beg for some kind of trade agreement with them, but ended up getting her ear bent about her obstructive attitude towards Indian migration and the “detrimental” immigration policies she implemented during her time as Home Secretary. Additionally Theresa May didn’t even bother to schedule a meeting with the Indian conglomerate Tata to discuss the ongoing crisis in the British steel industry while she was in India.
- 11. After returning from her failure of a trip to India Theresa May continued the Tory policy of sucking up pathetically to the Chinese communist government, even allowing herself to be lectured about the importance of “mutual trust” by the Chinese when one of the contractors they lined up to build the UK’s rip-off nuclear infrastructure for us has been charged with nuclear espionage in the United States!
- 12. The hope that the Tories are finally going to bin their economically ruinous ideological austerity agenda in order to pursue a sane investment led recovery strategy took another blow with the announcement that the rail electrification project for the South West of England has been indefinitely suspended.
The US election and Trump’s victory have overshadowed what’s going on in British politics, but it’s important not to forget that the US isn’t the only country suffering a political farce at the moment.
Whatever the mainstream media try to tell you about Theresa May being a “safe pair of hands” it should be beyond obvious that she’s a profoundly dishonest and incompetent politician with a savage right-wing authoritarian streak and anti-democratic tendencies.
The twelve separate stories I’ve highlighted just from US election week illustrate the shambles that is going on, but as long as the bulk of the Labour Party opposition and the mainstream media continue failing to hold Theresa May and the Tories to account millions of people will continue believing the nonsense that Theresa May is a competent politician doing a good job!