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Desperate BoJob Repeats the Tories’ Broken Promises

The signs are definitely increasing that Boris may be on his way out. His personal popularity has plunged to the point where a poll of Tory party members has rated him the second most unsatisfactory member of the cabinet. A poll a few weeks ago found that he was less popular than Keir Starmer, the duplicitous leader of the Labour party, who seems far keener on finding reasons to purge the party of genuine socialists and supporters of Jeremy Corbyn than opposing the Conservatives. Rishi Sunak, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, according to a similar poll a few weeks or so ago is actually far more popular. Zelo Street has published a series of articles speculating that as Boris shows himself to be ever more clueless and incompetent, the Tories and the press are starting to consider his removal and replacement. The Murdoch press has published a series of articles criticising him, while the Heil joined in to give him the same treatment they dished out to Corbyn and Ed Miliband. The rag published an article about Tom Bower’s latest book, which happens to be a biography of BoJob’s father, Stanley. This claims that he once hit BoJob’s mother so hard that he sent her to hospital with a broken nose. Bower’s last book was a biography of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which cast various aspersions on him. Of course, the Mail has more than a little previous when it comes to attacking politicians through their fathers. It published a nasty little piece a few years ago smearing Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph, as ‘the man who hated Britain’ when Miliband junior was leader of the Labour party. Ralph Miliband was a Marxist intellectual and I think he was Jewish Belgian, who immigrated to this country. He despised the British class system and its elite public schools, but nevertheless joined the army to defend his new homeland during World War II. Which is far more than could be said for the father of the Heil’s former editor, Paul Dacre, who spent the war well away from the front line as the paper’s showbiz correspondent. Reading between the lines of an interview one of the Tory rags published with Michael Gove, Zelo Street suggested that Boris’ former ally was possibly being considered as his successor. But if Johnson does go, it’ll have to be through a coup like that which ousted Thatcher. Former speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is undoubtedly right: no matter how unpopular Johnson becomes, he won’t leave voluntarily because he’s unaccountable.

So with things looking ominous and the vultures circling, Johnson today gave an upbeat speech in which he promised to build 40 new hospitals, more houses and increase the amount of power generated from green and renewable sources. Mike in his piece about Johnson’s falling popularity includes a Tweet from ‘Russ’, who helpfully points out that Johnson also made the same promise to build 40 hospitals a year ago. And hasn’t done it. He’s allocated £3 billion for their construction, although the real cost of building them is £27 billion. As for his promise to have a greater proportion of this country’s power generated by renewables, like more wind tunnels out in the Severn, we’ve also heard this before. Remember how dodgy Dave Cameron told the British voting public that his would be the greenest government ever and stuck a little windmill on the roof of his house? That lasted just as long as it took for Cameron to get both feet into No. 10. As soon as he was over the threshold he very definitely went back on his promise, giving his support to fracking while the windmill disappeared. Johnson’s promise is no different. It’s another lie from the party of lies and broken electoral promises. Like when Tweezer told everyone she wanted to put workers in company boardrooms. It’s like the Tories’ promises on racism and racial inequalities. After the Black Lives Matter protests, Johnson promised to set up an inquiry into it. Just like Tweezer did before him. All lies, empty lies that the Tories never had any intention of honouring.

And then there was his promise to build more houses. This was fairly bog-standard Thatcherite stuff. Johnson declared that he was going to build more houses so that more people would be able to own their own homes. But this wouldn’t be done by the state. He would do it by empowering people, who would be able to paint their own front doors.

Eh? This seems to make no sense at all. It does, however, repeat some of the points of Thatcher’s rhetoric about homeownership from the 1980s. Thatcher aimed at making Britain a home-owning nation of capitalists. She did by selling off the council houses and passing legislation forbidding councils from building new ones. This was supposed to allow everyone, or at least more people, to own their own homes. Many council tenants did indeed buy their homes, but others had them bought by private landlords. A few years ago Private Eye published a series of articles about the plight of these former council tenants, whose new landlords were now raising the rents to levels they couldn’t afford, or evicting them in order to develop the properties into more expensive homes aimed at the more affluent. And one of the reasons behind the present housing crisis is the fact that many properties are simply too expensive for people to afford. This includes the so-called ‘affordable housing’. This is set at 80 per cent of the market value of similar houses, whose price may be so high that even at this reduced price the affordable houses may be well beyond people’s ability to purchase. Thatcher’s housing policy needs to be overturned. Not only do more houses need to be built, but more genuinely affordable properties and council houses for those, who can only rent. Johnson isn’t going to do any of that. He just repeated the usual Thatcherite rhetoric about people owning their own homes and empowering them against the state. Just as Thatcher said that there was no society, only people and the Tories talked about rolling back the frontiers of the state.

It’s just another set of empty promises. In the clip I saw on the news, Johnson didn’t say how many he’d build, nor who would build them if the state wasn’t. Like the promises to build the hospitals and increase green energy, it’s another promise he doesn’t even remotely mean to keep. Just like all the others the Tories have made.

See also: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2020/10/06/johnsons-popularity-hits-record-low-but-bercow-says-he-wont-quit-as-hes-not-accountable/

https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/10/bozo-gets-miliband-corbyn-treatment.html

https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/09/murdoch-abandons-bozo.html

Introducing “The Slick,” a New State-Based Reporting Project on Oil, Climate and Politics

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 4:19am in

Considering climate change’s existential threat, the dearth of regional reporting on the corporate forces driving global warming is striking. Continue reading

The post Introducing “The Slick,” a New State-Based Reporting Project on Oil, Climate and Politics appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

In Other News: Bat Boy Runs For School Board 

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 4:35am in

Farewell Local News McClatchy, one of the largest and oldest newspaper publishers in the country, will be bought out of bankruptcy by Chatham Asset Management, a hedge fund. McClatchy owns 30 papers including the Sacramento Bee, the Miami Herald and … Continue reading

The post In Other News: Bat Boy Runs For School Board  appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Texas' Ban On Fracking Bans Proves Industry Money Talks and Residents Walk

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/05/2015 - 12:39am in

Silenced.jpgBy Claire Bernish

[Photo: Nathan Rupert.]

In a peremptory case of government acting as oil industry legislator, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a prohibition on fracking bans -- completely undermining one town's hard-won ordinance to protect its citizens' health and safety. Effective immediately, no city or town in the entire state will be able to "ban, limit, or otherwise regulate" any "commercially reasonable" industry practice -- with "reasonable" being determined by government and the industry, itself.

Having fought against all odds with a tireless grassroots campaign, in a state famous (infamous?) for its fossil fuel industry, the town of Denton managed to pass an anti-fracking ordinance late last November, a feat which garnered international attention. However, Denton was promptly sued by the Texas General Land Office and Texas Oil & Gas Association.

That lawsuit, however, did not appear to have firm footing, so the industry took matters into more powerful hands and used its powerful political sway to wield a legislative weapon instead.

Earthjustice attorney, Deborah Goldberg, who successfully defended a similar case in Dryden, NY, explained,

The Texas courts have upheld a long tradition of local control, so the Governor and the Legislature took matters into their own hands. Now, they have capitulated to the greedy but powerful oil and gas industry at the expense of their own constituents' health, well-being, and property rights.

Apparently, the governor has the concept of private property rights confused with fossil fuel industry predominance. In a statement about the new law, he said,

HB 40 does a profound job of helping to protect private property rights here in the State of Texas, ensuring those who own their own property will not have the heavy hand of local regulation deprive them of their rights.

Though HB40, which was written by former ExxonMobil lawyer Shannon Ratliff, applies statewide, its transparency as a direct response to Denton's efforts to ban fracking is virtually indisputable -- particularly given the town's location atop the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.

"HB 40 was written by the oil and gas industry, for the oil and gas industry, to prevent voters from holding the oil and gas industry accountable for its impacts," said Sharon Wilson of Earthworks Texas who had helped with the town's original ban. She added, "It was the oil and gas industry's contempt for impacted residents that pushed Denton voters to ban fracking in the first place. And now the oil and gas industry, through state lawmakers, has doubled down by showing every city in Texas that same contempt."

Fracking is the only industry permitted to operate within city limits, and besides the nuisance of noise, there is mounting evidence to support claims that toxic chemicals from wastewater injection make their way into the drinking supply. A recent USGS study confirmed this process causes earthquakes, and risk maps had to be adjusted to account for these human-induced tremors.

Though the law is a clear victory for the bully, the town of Denton remains proud of their accomplishment, and hasn't lost all hope. As Goldberg explained, "We have been proud to represent the proponents of Denton's ban, and we know they will regroup and fight back against this legislative overreach."

"The people of Denton exercised their democratic right to keep a nasty industrial process out of their community-and now big oil and their friends in high places are steamrolling them, along with everyone else in Texas," said Natural Resources Defense Counsel attorney Dan Raichel. "The interests of a powerful industry should never take priority over the health and safety of American families. Texans should be able to keep dangerous activities and chemicals away from their homes, schools, and hospitals -- just as hundreds of other communities across the country have already done."

Claire Bernish writes for TheAntiMedia.org, where this article first appeared. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: John McSporran.