Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski was too late deleting a post on Twitter, revealing a secret at the heart of his party.
The Conservatives are prudent with national finance, while Labour spends way too much… Right? Well that’s what Kawczynski himself seemed to believe when he tweeted this graph showing the national debt since 1995:
The graph shows a sharp increase in national debt after the taxpayer shouldered the financial crash for bankers in 2008. Then, the Conservatives came to power and David Cameron assured us
So though this government has had to make some difficult decisions, we are making progress. We’re paying down Britain’s debts.
But since the Conservatives took power in 2010, there has been a steady increase in government borrowing, as the graph shows. Under six years of George Osborne, the UK national debt increased by over £555bn.
The secret goes back through history
The idea that the Conservatives are good with the economy and that Labour spends too much is often taken as a given. It is repeated by politicians and amplified by the mainstream media. Kawczynski’s belief was so strong that he posted a graph of the national debt assuming it would tell such a story. Realising the reality is actually the opposite of the rhetoric, the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham swiftly deleted the tweet.
But the graph doesn’t tell the whole story. Osborne actually proportionately increased debt by more in five years than every Labour government in history combined.
Well, the evidence shows that Labour not only borrows less, but also repays more debt. Economist Richard Murphy showed this through data on borrowing per year from 1946/47 to 2016.
This chart shows each party’s record on borrowing since WWII:
As the chart shows, the Conservatives have borrowed nearly twice as much as Labour. The party’s record on repayments doesn’t look too good either:
The chart shows Labour has repaid over five times as much as the Conservatives since 1946-47.
The underlying lesson here is that cutting public spending, like Osborne did severely, can actually pile on more debt. Calculated public investment facilitates economic activity and brings greater returns in the long term.
It’s no wonder Kawczynski deleted that tweet. It exposed the con at the heart of the Conservative Party.
Her Majesty’s UK Government is prepared to launch a first strike with nuclear weapons under undeclared circumstances, Defense Minister Sir Michael Fallon stated emphatically today on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon recently confirmed that his Prime Minister Theresa May is prepared to use nuclear weapons in a first strike attack in “the most extreme circumstances.” Commenting on the remark, Russian parliamentarian Frants Klintsevich warned of the devastating consequences of such an action.
On Monday, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed that his Prime Minister Theresa May “is prepared to launch Trident in the most extreme circumstances”, as a first strike attack, even if Britain itself was not under nuclear attack.The comments came during an interview with Britain’s “Today” program on BBC Radio Four.
“In the most extreme circumstances we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike,” the UK’s defense chief said.
When asked in what circumstances, he replied: “They are better not specified or described, which would only give comfort to our enemies and make the deterrent less credible.”
“The whole point about the deterrent is that you have got to leave uncertainty in the mind of anyone who might be thinking of using weapons against this country,” Michael Fallon added.
The comments apparently come in response to the remarks of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who signaled he would not launch attacks and could scrap the Trident deterrent.
Trident is the UK’s nuclear missile system designed as a deterrent to stop foreign powers attacking Britain and its allies.The name refers to the missiles which are carried by four Vanguard class submarines, which have up to eight nuclear warheads each.
Commenting on the remarks, Russian parliamentarian Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said that it “deserves a tough answer”, and that he is not afraid to “overdo it.”
“At best, Fallon’s threat should be viewed as a type of ‘psychological warfare,’ which in this context is an especially disgusting menace. Otherwise, this looks particularly bad as the question naturally arises: who is it that the UK is ready to preemptively use nuclear weapons against?” reads Klintsevich’s comment on his Facebook page.
“If Britain attacks a nuclear power, it will be “literally wiped off the face of the earth by a responsive strike given its not-too-vast territory,” the post further reads.
“However, if it is against a non-nuclear power, the UK seems to be after the US’ ‘laurels’ which dropped down nuclear bombs on the defenseless [Japanese cities] of Hiroshima and Nagasaki [in 1945],” he added.
In a separate comment on the issue, Alexei Leonkov, a military expert and commercial director of “Arsenal of the Fatherland” magazine also suggested that the UK is following Washington’s example.
Earlier in April, the NBC News channel reported, citing “multiple senior US intelligence officials” that “the US is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test.”
“Every country has its “list of threats” after which nuclear weapons should be applied irrevocably. With regards to a preemptive strike, only two countries have recently claimed that they are ready to use it for such a purpose, it is the US and North Korea,” Leonkov told Radio Sputnik.
He further explained that now the UK has joined the two. London might soon voice its “list of threats” on which it will use its nuclear weapons, but before voicing it to the world, it should be agreed upon in parliament as the country’s nuclear doctrine
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on registered Labour Party voters to break ranks and vote Tory or Liberal Democrat in the upcoming general election, further challenging Jeremy Corbyn’s troubled leadership over the main opposition party.
In an interview with BBC on Sunday, Blair said the issue of getting more members of parliament who could oppose Prime Minister Theresa May’s possible hard Brexit deal was now “bigger than party allegiance.”
“The absolutely central question at this general election is less who is the prime minister on June 9, and more what is the nature of the mandate,” he said.
“Otherwise frankly this is a steamroller election – is it possible that we can return as many members of parliament as possible to parliament that are going to keep an open mind on this Brexit negotiation until we see the final terms.”
Last week, May called for snap general elections to gain a stronger mandate for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The request was approved by the Tory-dominated parliament, as the House of Commons voted 522 to 13 to pass the motion.
The election will be held on June 8, nearly a year after 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the European Union (EU). The current parliament will dissolve on June 3.
Return to politics
Blair, who was elected PM three times as Labour leader, has positioned himself to join forces with Lib Dems against May, indicating a comeback to politics.
“I look at the British political scene at the moment and I actually almost feel motivated to go right back into it,” he told BBC on Sunday.
When asked whether he was encouraging people to vote for Lib Dems as his new party, Blair gave an evasive answer.
“What I’m advocating may mean that. It may mean voting Labour. It may mean, by the way, that they vote Tory, for candidates who are prepared to give this commitment,” he argued. “This is something that’s bigger than party allegiance, in this particular election.”
The former premier, who risks indictment over his role in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, insisted that he “will always vote Labour.”
Blair’s comments prompted outrage on social media, with some party members calling for him to be fired for backing rival candidates in breach of the party’s rule-book.
“On 9 June, we will either have a Labour government or a Tory one. If you want Brexit to be used to turn Britain into a low-wage tax haven, vote Tory. If you want a Britain for the many not the few after Brexit, vote Labour. The choice is clear,” said a Corbyn spokesman.
Corbyn, who is struggling to close a wide popularity gap with the ruling Tories, has pledged to turn the page and win the vote.
Anyone who wants to avoid another disastrous four years of austerity should put aside their differences.
How many times did Theresa May or her aides deny the possibility of a snap general election? Enough to make it clear that she has no problem telling lies.
Her cynical decision to call an election should be a warning to all of us. May has seized upon a moment when Labour is polling poorly and there is still enough inner-party division to potentially hand the Tories a sweeping victory. Once she has this, Theresa May will set about driving exactly the kind of Brexit that she wants through Parliament, without argument and without accountability.
May is a perfect example of why public trust in politicians is low, making U-turns on key issues (like Brexit) with impunity and delighting in saying one thing then doing another – all in the name of pure self-interest.
On 8 June, I will be casting my ballot for Labour and for Jeremy Corbyn. Unlike Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn has proved to be a man of his word. Since becoming an MP in 1983, his principles remain virtually unchanged. He has championed the rights of women and LGBT people, campaigned for peace and diplomatic solutions, fought against inequality, and found himself on the right side of history time and time again, voting against the Iraq War and campaigning to end Apartheid in South Africa. No moats or duck houses for Jeremy, instead he was the lowest expenses claimer in the country in 2010, after spending just £8.70 on an ink cartridge.
More importantly, Corbyn is fronting a set of common-sense election pledges that will benefit wider society, not just the frosting of privilege on the top. Britain needs a government that will commit to providing affordable housing, full employment and cheap, efficient public transport. We need leadership that will take initiative when it comes to the environment, by investing in carbon-neutral solutions and green technology, and creating jobs while they’re at it. We need to tackle inequality by providing free, high-quality education for every single child, not just those born into more fortunate circumstances
I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a country where rich people can’t decide to just not pay their taxes in full, because they can afford an army of slippery accountants who exploit loopholes in the law. I want tackling violence against women and girls to be a priority, as two women in Britain are killed every week by a current or former partner. I want to be part of a Britain where no one dies because they’re hungry and their benefits were sanctioned, or they were found ‘fit for work’ when they have serious mental health problems.
Theresa May became leader of the Conservative party because all the other contenders in a panicky, post-referendum leadership race simply dropped out. Corbyn was elected leader in a landslide victory, attracting thousands of new members to the Labour party. He was challenged in an unprecedented second leadership election, and again emerged victorious.
However, it’s Corbyn who faces the ire of the British media, and has received incredibly hostile coverage since he assumed leadership of the party. The character assassination of Corbyn has come from all angles, not just from traditionally right-wing publications, but also from more liberal outlets like the Guardian and New Statesman. Even the BBC has been accused of bias against Corbyn. The onslaught of dismissive or downright vicious coverage makes the mocking of Ed Miliband for chowing down on a bacon sandwich seem minor.
It’s Corbyn who is portrayed as weak and incompetent, as someone who people cannot get behind, despite energising thousands of supporters and attracting people who had previously been cynical about politics. Corbyn’s determination and resolve in the face of these media attacks, coupled with open dissent from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), shows strength of character that I’m not sure many of us would be capable of replicating in his situation.
Perhaps it would’ve been better, and easier, if Corbyn had stepped down before the snap election was called, and allowed a candidate to assume leadership who was unsullied by the constant, exhausting drip, drip of negative news articles. It would be foolish to assume that Jeremy Corbyn is the only person who can lead the Labour party on a solid platform that benefits ordinary working people and reverses the damage done by the Tories’ failed austerity programme.
However, it’s too late for a change in leadership. Every single person who wants to avoid another disastrous four years of austerity under a Conservative government should be putting aside their differences and rallying behind Corbyn. He has served as an MP and as the Leader of the Opposition with honesty, decency, and strength in the face of overwhelming adversity. The least we, as the electorate, can do is vote based on the policies he is putting forward, not on a skewed image presented by an increasingly partisan media, largely owned by vested interests.
A vote for Labour is a vote for ordinary working people, for a strong NHS, for quality education for all, and for economic growth that doesn’t come at the expense of the lowest paid and most vulnerable members of society. Whatever the Lib Dems, Greens or even the sad, silly remnants of UKIP say, Labour is the only credible option for keeping the Tories out.
Come June 8, will you cast your ballot in support of May’s lies, or will you choose a man who behaves with honesty and honour? I know which one I’ll pick.
Harriet Williamson is a writer, intersectional feminist, and mental health ambassador, based in Manchester. She has been published by Vice, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Buzzfeed and others
Backtracking on his previous opposition to negotiating with the crumbling Brussels bloc, the President softened his stance after individual EU member states rejected attempts by his officials to start talks on separate trade agreements.
According to the Times, German chancellor Angela Merkel managed to convince Trump at a private dinner last month that striking a deal between the US and EU would be simpler than he thought.
A senior German politician told the newspaper: “Ten times Trump asked her if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany.
“Every time she replied with: ‘You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU.’
“On the element refusal, Trump finally got the message: ‘Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.’”
The move comes after Merkel convinced Trump it would be easy to strike a deal with the EU
Boris Johnson said in January Britain would be “first in line” for a trade deal with the US
But this “realisation” led the Trump administration to believe a trade deal with the EU would be more important to US interests than a post-Brexit deal with Britain, according to a top White House official.
The news comes in stark contrast to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s claims in January, where after meeting Trump’s advisers claimed Britain would be “first in line” for a trade deal.
The EU is America’s biggest trading partner, with US exports to the bloc last year worth $270billion, and imports worth $417billion.
However, in the same period, the US exported just $55billion in goods to Britain and imported $54billion.
The developments now mean a new deal could be struck between the US and the EU – but reportedly could also mean a resurrection of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Trump made scrapping the agreement a key pledge during his presidential campaign last year, but officials have allegedly claimed the White House has softened its position on the deal