New Labour communications manager Jo Moore left Downing Street in disgrace after emailing a colleague that the September 11th attacks were a ‘good day to bury bad news’. There may or may not be emails circulating to that explicit effect at Downing Street today, but by examining the news behind the headlines, a whole series of bad news is being buried.
Child Abuse Links Back to Number 10
In one of the more overtly cynical media sideshows in modern times, the Daily Mail launched an attack on Harriet Harman, Patrica Hewitt and the Labour left in recent weeks for their alleged connections to the Paedophile Information Exchange (P.I.E) during the 1970’s. During that decaded PIE members infiltrated politics, the media, the police and the heart of the UK establishment, as I have covered previously – so why would the Mail exclusively target Harman, when she was perhaps one of the mildest offenders?
Answer came this morning – as it was revealed that Patrick Rock, one of Cameron’s top advisors in No. 10, and a close colleague for the past 20 years has been arrested on child pornography charges. The government are also protecting the identity of a former Tory home secretary that papers are unwilling to name, who has serious allegations of child abuse to answer.
Your NHS Records Just got Uploaded to Google
The Health Select Committee has announced that a private company called PA Consulting have been given the “entire start-to-finish HES (Hospital Episode Statistics) dataset across all three areas of collection – inpatient, outpatient and A&E”. The firm, headed by a disgraced former chairman of Barclays Bank, Marcus Agius, then uploaded that sensitive personal data to google servers based outside of the UK. This allows the NSA and GCHQ ‘backdoor’ access to our medical data, using the Project Tempora/PRISM programmes revealed by Edward Snowden – it also means the data is outside any domestic privacy and data laws, or government firewall.
This news comes just days after it was revealed that all NHS hospital data had been sold to private insurance companies without patient consent or democratic mandate.
Foodbank Use Explodes but Many Users Can’t Even Afford to Cook the Food
In the past year, 900,000 people lost access to social security – as government cut benefits with a range of ‘austerity’ measures. During that same period, people reliant on food banks to eat surged 300%. The fact that over million people would have gone hungry without emergency food aid, in one of the wealthiest countries on earth, speaks volumes for the economic inequality in the UK. But matters are even worse than that, it has just been announced that Food Banks are now having to issue “kettle boxes” filled with instant mash, soup and noodles, because users cannot afford the gas/electricity required to cook.
Lending to Small Business Continues to Fall
The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, announced that lending to business fell by £600m, and lending to small and medium businesses fell by £300m last month. This is part of a continuing negative trend, as the Independent reports:
Detailed FLS figures also revealed Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide shrank net lending to SMEs by £2.2 billion and £1.1 billion between April and December last year, partly because of the lenders reducing exposure to property. Lloyds increased net lending £1.1 billion over the same period.
Meanwhile these same banks are being pumped full of virtually free money through the Quantitative Easing scheme. In 2009, the Bank of England announced the UK would embark on a £50bn programme of Quantitative Easing – this is where Central Banks pump money into the economy by buying government bonds with money they just make up out of thin air. At the same time, the central bank dropped interest rates almost nil. The promise of these policies, and the reason such funds were given to banks rather than say, the Treasury to spend on social programmes, was that the Banks would increase lending to businesses and help people buy homes and essentially kick start the economy. Neoliberals call this ‘the money multiplier effect’ – they argue that it is better to give money to private banks, rather the governments or people, because the banks will make more of it by lending.
In the end, the Bank of England actually created £375bn of this fake money, increased its own capital account four times over, while lending to businesses has actually fallen through the floor – and the wider economy stagnates. The whole thing is basically, theft. It was a means for Banks to generate more profit and cash holdings for themselves, while the taxpayer not only gets zero payback for the bailout, but actually loses.
This Government is Failing on All Fronts
This government is failing the people it purports to represent, on all fronts. This government has asset stripped our public services for the sake of its profiteering peers. This government has created a level of destitution which should be unimaginable in a developed economy. This government has followed the US into a proxy war in the Ukraine the ramifications of which remain to be seen, and buried its failings in the wake of genuine fear and uncertainty. This government has to go.
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