Blog of a reluctant contrarian - Gary Barker Illustration

Blog of a reluctant contrarian - Gary Barker Illustration

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How corporate media demands and 24 rolling news created President Donald Trump

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: TrumpDonaldPresidentMSMmediaFakeNewsBrexit.ProjectFear

To many the election of Donald Trump came as a great shock. To them it seemed unfathomable someone who openly states such ridiculous things be so popular that democracy could see them elected to become the world's most powerful leader.

But to some in the UK it came as no surprise as they saw similar ridiculous statements that saw  millions in the UK vote counter-intuitively to deliver an EU referedum result that will not only cost the country many billions, but also see themselves only become poorer because of it.

People in the UK may not have been shocked by either of these results, but that doesn't mean they understood why it had. Of course there was an unsavoury element of racism that could be attached to some who promoted and voted Brexit, but does that mean the millions who voted to leave are all racists? Of course not and in fact I firmly believe only a very small percentage are. So why did it happen?



Just this week we've heard Donald Trump bang on about 'Fake News' and he hit the nail on the head - but not because he is the victim of it, but rather because he is the ultimate result of deliberately constructed news stories with him at the centre. This is called Hypernormalisation and it was developed by far right Russian spin doctor Vladislav Surkoff and it has helped Vladmir Putin keep a firm grip on power with huge popularity ratings in Russia for years. This is how it works - Surkoff realised that national and global 24 hour rolling news had created an unquenchable thirst for news stories to fill our screens. He also recognised the need in a competitive market system for news agencies to be the first break stories. Once these factors are recognised as the driving force behind content then it is logical to conclude that no single story need ever be national nor global headlines for more than a day at most. Meaning spin doctors can release a new 'scandal' at will and no one story will ever receive the necessary thorough investigation it deserves, meaning the impact on the public psyche is minimal. This can then be used to create a political figure to whom nothing sticks and so that candidate can then suggest that everything that is said about them is lies and many will believe it. And finally the coup de grâce - they can then suggest they are not only nothing to do with fake news, but that they are also the victim of it. Bringing is right back up to date with Donald Trump.

In the UK of course the right have their our own version of 'Fake News' i.e. 'Project Fear', which worked equally well for them and was thrown at any information the remain side tried to pass on to the electorate. So muddying the waters with similar shifting sands to those Donald Trump used to become elected.

So this week with Theresa May exclaiming she will set out her plan for the UK's 'Hard Brexit' and the inaugeration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America it will be a time for the far right to rejoice the triumph of Fake News. The  New World Order is upon us.



The Conservative Party are now the enemy of the people

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: TheresaMayNHSConservatives

The Conservative Party are now the enemy of the people.

Never being much a of fan of the Conservative Party, it will come as no surprise to those who know me to hear such claims from me. I have always stood firmly against putting self-interest before that of our country and that selfishness runs through the Tory party like type 2 diabetes runs through a stick of rock. In fact their entire reason for being: is to validate people's selfishness and salve any feelings of guilt by telling them they're doing what's best for the country, when of course the opposite is true and any good that comes from their actions is purely coincidental.

But post-Referendum that have mutated into a new far more virulent and aggressive form, they have metamorphosed into something far darker. Empowered by the Leave vote this selfishness has been coupled with a totalitarian grab for absolute power by the new unelected Prime Minister, reflected in her populist speech to conference which was gleefully compared to Enoch Powell in the Telegraph. Such is her determination to hold on to her new job she threw all caution to the wind and declared to conference that ensuring Brexit will go ahead even if the economy tanks. Now think about this, the leader of the party that the media would have us believe represesents the steady trusted hand of economic competence openly stated that ideology is more important than the well-being of this country.

But Theresa May is not the only one and in fact it was personal self-interest that led David Cameron to call the referendum on the EU in the first place. It wasn't anything to do with allowing the people to decide, it was all about silencing critics from within his own party and so suring up his own premiership. Well that worked out well, eh Dave?

Then there's everybody's favourite clown - Boris Johnson, he's a one isn't he? Recent revelations show he had 'reservations' too about leaving the EU i.e. he knew siding with the Leave campaign could work out very well for him, but he admitted leaving the EU would be bad for the country. So again, another senior member of this government admits he put personal self-interest before country. Not very patriotic that, from someone who loves to wave the flag around all the time.

But I hear you say, there is no alternative - Labour are a mess and Corbyn is unelectable. OK let's examine this too: why is Corbyn unelectable? Has he brought crisis on the country's beloved NHS so that senior advisors warn it is about to collapse? Has he handed control of UK nuclear assets to Chinese Communists in tawdry dash for cash? Has doubled the national debt in 6 years? Has he trebled university tuition fees, caused a boom in zero hours contracts and food banks, or anti-democratically forced fracking on people who have stated they don't want it? And yet we are collectively happy to trot out the media fed lie that he is unelectable.. Perhaps it's me, perhaps him having a beard and not wearing the right suit is more important to you than the well-being of your country. Because I can see no other logical reason to claim there is no alternative and to go along with the ridiculous and unfounded criticism against the man simply because he's bit of an old style lefty. If you think I am the one being ridiculous ask yourself this - if a Corbyn or any Labour leader had done all the things the Tories have done in the last 6 years do you think the media would supported them through all of that?



Again those who know me well, know I am neither a Labour nor a Conservative voter, so you may ask why I defend Corbyn if I don't ever intend voting for him? My answer is this: politics in a free and open modern democracy should never be about one party holding all the cards. But that is exactly what the Conservative Party have had increasingly over the last four decades (with a brief interlude of New Labour which in effect was more right wing than Heath's 1970's Conservative government). Today there is not on national newspaper that does not support the Conservative Party, by default, through their constant smearing and often fabricated lies about the Labour leader (with the possible exception of the Independent, which told it's readers to vote Tory in the 2015 General Election). TV news and political programming is the same and The BBC has totally lost it's way in this matter too and I don't even think they know what impartiality is anymore. We even have two well known Tory backing, banking brothers not only running a national daily, but now also backing fracking. We have multinationals supporting the Conservatives and croneyism is rife and in return they receive huge tax breaks that see the demise of many small UK businesses who cannot compete when they themselves must pay their taxes.

You may have heard the now popular expression 'you can't change anything without being in power', but if they were still with us I would like to hear those people try telling that to Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela. Politics is not about supporting a party like you would a football team. It's not about winning at all costs, it's not about changing tactics week by week as the wind of public opinion shifts, it's about doing the right thing for the right reason and what could be more important that the well-being of our country? So we see the dawn of the new order, the Nu Britain, the Britain of Corporate Fascism and self-interest before our country and until people wake up and start opening their eyes to the truth instead of allowing themselves to be led, things will only get worse for all the ordinary people of the UK.




When is anti-semitism not anti-semitism?

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: antisemitismlabourCorbynrebelsBlairites
I have now asked the BBC and other media services several times to provide me a link, any link to a proven case of anti-semitism within the Labour Party. I did so because the as the media and the right wing of the Labour Party have constantly made such claims in their attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

So what are the possibilities?

1. Labour does have a problem with anti-semitism, which needs to be addressed by the leadership without any hesitation.

2. These claims are entirely fabricated by the media and oponents of Corbyn with th Labour Party in an attempt to oust him from his position as leader. But this option then throws up the question why? Fellow Labour MPs doing this could be acting purely out of selfish ambition. However this becomes more worrying when we consider why the media would fabricate such a story and the only possible answer is the corruption of democracy.

So what is the reality? Who knows. All I know is I am still waiting for anyone to get back to me with any real evidence to back up these accusations.



The Corporate Road to Fascism in the UK

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: FascismUKCorporateConservativesTheresaMay


The Corporate Road to Fascism in the UK

Most people associate Fascism with jackboots, secret police and concentration camps, but I would argue there is another more insidious and potentially far more damaging (in the long term) form of Fascism that we are seeing fast developing in the UK.
All Fascist states run and are dependent on the co-operation and willing participation of big business. But I would argue that instead of the traditional Fascist eugenic ideology of the past the driving force behind this new form or totalitarianism is the absolute Corporate State.

In his study: Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined fascist and found 14 defining characteristics common to each
http://www.rense.com/general37/char.html

I used this list to compare where we currently stand in UK:
1.\tPowerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
The flag may not have been flown everywhere in the run up to the EU referendum but politicians on the Leave side never missed an opportunity to wave it. And it would now seem all many politicians have to do is wave the flag to make people side with everything they say. From Boris Johnson’s ridiculous zip wire stunt to incorporating the union flag into a reworked Conservative Party logo, there are few opportunities missed to associate the Conservative Party with the national flag and the rhetoric to match. I would add that I have no problem with the display of the nation’s flag wherever people choose to fly it, but it is the cynical exploitation of it by Conservative politicians that I see as the problem.
2.\tDisdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
This is self-evident as Theresa May has long stated that she wanted to scap the 1998 Human Rights Act and will do so shortly. In her recent speech to conference she made reference to stopping ‘left wing human rights lawyers’.
3.\tIdentification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; socialists, etc.
Again, self-evident the government uses the media to scapegoat immigrants, the EU, ‘lefties’. It has got to the point where any voices of opposition to this government are painted almost as an enemies of the state by the media. We even had the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson directing the people of the UK to demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy this week – something I’m sure British Embassy staff in Moscow welcomed with shrieks of ‘delight’.



4.\tSupremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
Apart from the fact that UK defence spending is disproportionate, I feel this is one of the few points where the UK doesn’t fit the traditional Fascist model. But I would argue that in the corporate form of Fascism there is less need for a regime to impose its will on the people through physical means as the control comes via other means i.e. the media, personalised domestic debt and consumerism.
5.\tRampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
Again a point I feel is not particularly true in the UK when compared to other developed nations. In fact I would suggest that the previous government used the legalisation of same sex marriage as a liberal façade to allow them to bring in far more hard right policies such as Workfare.  In fact one could argue the Corporate Fascist State would welcome the ‘Pink Pound’. The right have long made use of the word family and how they are the ones who will represent their interests and also tried to dictate what a family should be. I am not denying there are problems with sexism, homophobia etc. just that it is not particularly a national identifier, internationally.
6.\tControlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
For me this is the most telling and important tranche of Corporate Fascism, where all control of the masses emanates from -  if you control the message, you control the people. There is now no popular national daily that does not side, by default, with the government against the official opposition, with the possible exception of The Independent, which since the 2015 General Election (where it told it’s readership to vote Conservative) has remained fairly impartial. UK national newspapers are almost entirely owned by five men and one corporation, all of whom have close connections with the Conservative Party. The national broadcaster, the BBC, which we are all forced to pay for, is staffed to hilt with Conservative supporting front men and even Channel 4 News is now  losing its way by introducing Daily Telegraph columnists as presenters.  
7.\tObsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Another self-evident point – we hear from government all the time about the potential threat we face in our everyday lives. From international terrorism to the need for Trident, the government uses fear to force its will on us.
8.\tReligion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
We may not immediately see the connection here, but how often do you hear a Conservative leader talk about the party being ‘a broad church’, not necessarily making a direct religious link, but certainly suggesting their party is the party of the ‘decent’ church going public. And how often have we heard the expression to describe the Church of England as ‘the Conservative Party at prayer’?
9.\tCorporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
There is absolutely no denying that this government and previous ones have been and are guilty of this, always putting business interests ahead of the people of this country. From the cutting of ‘red tape’ i.e. axing the regulations that protect us, to big business being allowed to pay almost no tax in this country. 37 years of anti-society / pro-business government have delivered an economy for the rich and powerful at the expense of the average person and their families.
10.\tLabor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
Over the past 37 years the UK has seen the systematic dismantling of all union power by successive right wing regimes that convinced the public that unionised workers were the enemy. Even now with unions having virtually no power the media still speak of union barons dictating to business. And even the BMA, the union representing the most trusted workers in the country, has been painted as extremists by Jeremy Hunt and the media.
11.\tDisdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. With prominent hard right politicians like Michael Gove spinning the line that 'people in this country have had enough of experts,” and the truth being portrayed as some kind of moveable feast, anti-itellictualism is rife in the UK.
In her speech to conference Theresa May described the people who oppose the UK leaving the EU as ‘the liberal elite’ sneering at those who voted for Brexit. So the Prime Minister of this country condemns  48% of the country, just because they don’t agree with her stance. But surely as someone who purportedly supported the Remain campaign – then surely she is also part of the ‘liberal elite’ she herself sneered at. How often do we hear right wing politicians attack arts education and demand we only teach economically useful subjects such as sciences and engineering.  In the news this morning further attacks on the teaching of the arts in school have been reported with the removal of many arts based A levels from our schools.
12.\tObsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
I will avoid all the usual accusations of the government using the police as their bully boys to quell protests and instead point out how many police are able to turn out to anti-fracking demonstrations. There is never any physical trouble reported at these events and yet the police, we all pay for, turn out often in larger numbers than protestors, to side with private businesses against the people who actually pay their taxes that go in some part to pay for the police force.
13.\tRampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Yet another self-evident point this government is guilty of, there are far too many examples to choose from, but one current example would be the Government anti-democratically forcing the people of Lancashire to accept fracking. George Osborne, as Chancellor demanded fracking in the UK be ‘fast tracked’. Osborne’s father in law, Lord Howell is a highly paid fracking lobbyist.
14.\tFraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
This government has recently gerrymandered boundary changes meaning that up to 85% of Labour seats could be affected.

I therefore feel, using these parameters, the case is made: the UK is a Corporate Fascist State and I welcome reasoned comment.




UK media and the Corbyn

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: propagandacorbynmediamsm

Anyone with eyes to see can't fail to recognise the UK media is now nothing more than a propaganda vehicle for the Conservative government and as such the Opposition would be constantly caned by then, whoever was leading it. But the fact that the Labour Party is now led by someone who is actually left wing is like a red rag to a bull. Corbyn not only has the Conservative Party and the media to contend with, but also seemingly 90% of his own MPs. But out in the country it is a different matter and it seems many are nwo beginning to see through the Establishment propaganda and smearsm, after all look how they played the last election..



The consequences of New Labour are one-sided politics, mass disenfranchisement, Brexit and political chaos

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: TonyBlairNewLabourCorbyngeneralelection
cdgg

The sad death of John Smith in 1994 turned out to be a tragedy for the whole nation as it brought to an end the long history of political and democratic choice in the UK.

Whoever was Labour leader come the 1997 general election was going to be prime minister. But what Smith's death did was allow in the 'reformers' who wanted to shift the party sharply to the right, to fight the Tories in their own backyard. Their thinking, it is said, was to make the Tories unelectable by pushing them so far to the right that they would never again win a majority. But what the likes of Blair and Mandelson failed to recognise, as they deliberately disenfranchised millions of tradional Labour voters, was that the UK electorate is fickle and eventually they will vote for a change, no matter what the alternative is.

uk, general, election, tunout

Despite winning a second victory in 2001, New Labour launched an inquiry into where millions of their votes has vanished to, as if they didn't already know the answer. An that answer was - the people who had waited 18 years for Labour to win only to get a slightly less right wing version of the Tory government they had just ousted were mightily cheesed-off. And so they chose not to vote for anyone, as they no longer had a party that represented their interests. In other words they had become disenfranchised. And what greater evidence can there be for this than this chart, which shows with only one exception, the only times in the past hundred years, the turnout at a general election has fallen below 70% has been every election since the inception of the New Labour government in 1997. Blair's gamble was that the disenfranchised would never vote Tory and he was right - they haven't, but having seen their jobs disappear and quality of life suffer under successive right leaning (and full on right wing) governments, some in the first instance turned to the BNP and in 2015 turned in much greater numbers to UKIP,

So here we are today nearly twenty years on. We have a Tory government who set the whole debt bubble off in 1986, who have now doubled the national debt and taken us out of the EU without a paddle apparently leading Labour by double figures in the polls. And we have a parliamentary Labour Party stacked to the brim with Blairites, the media has labelled 'moderates' and 'rebels' at the same time. Not that the media nor the 'modrebs' ever display such inconsistency in their attacks on Corbyn, in which their unity has only been matched by their ferocity. Anyone who has remembers 'A Very British Coup' can't fail to draw comparisons.

So well done Tony, you wrecked the Labour Party, made them unelectable and destroyed all opposition to the right wing political monopoly, or perhaps that's the been the plan all along.





NHS privatisation: the harsh reality and the healthcare bill every British citizen needs to see

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: nhsprivatisationhealthcareUSprivatised

This image was taken by an American woman of a US hospitcal bill she was presented for six nights stay during treatment. This bill does not include her actual medical treatment, which was billed separately.



The woman's healthcare insurers refused to cover these charges, as is normal practice in the private US healthcare system and so she was left to cover all these charges out of her own pocket.

Many people in the UK believe they have nothing to fear from NHS privatisation, especially those who have existing private healthcare. But everyone needs to realise that the number one cause of bankruptcies in the US are healthcare bills and the majority of those people had medical insurance.



Brexit and the bogus unaccountable unelected power agrument

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: BrexitHouseofLordsLordspower


As the UK votes to leave the EU the Leavers don't even get to finish their post-coital cigarette before the holes start to appear in their arguments.

The right leaning media concentrate on the deceptions relating to immigration and the majority right wing media continue to stir the anti-immigration pot, many deluded Leavers continue to believe there will now be £350million a week more spent on the NHS. But The one issue that was probably the second most likely issue to sway people i.e. to cut the unaccountable and unelected power in the EU, goes almost unmentioned we are now faced with the reality of more far reaching unaccountable, unelected power here in the UK.

lords

The inconvenient truth, that no one in the media nor parliament has mentioned is that unaccountable and unelected power here in the form of the House of Lords has far more direct control over all our lives than the technocrats in the Brussels could ever have dreamt of. The peers in the House of Lords actually pass every single law and act of parliament that goes into the running of our country, so why did this escape everyone's attention? The sad truth is the UK is in reality a democracy in name only and we are in fact still closer to a feudal system. In what other system could two men who were privileged enough to be in the same elitist Oxford drinking club at the same time, rise some years later hold the two most powerful political jobs in the whole UK i.e. London Mayor and Prime Minister, again at the same time? I wonder what odds you'd get on two mere mortals who went to the same comp achieving the same? But they were elected I hear you cry - that is true, but we have to accept that even the way they got into the position to be elected has all the hallmarks of the privilege that traditionally has packed the Conservative parliamentary benches and right wing newspapers columnist slots. From these positions it's a short hop behind the the fair wind blown by the majority right wing media, owned by a very small number of Tory supporting media oligarchs and Bob's your aunties live in lover - you have the Dave and Boris running the show and living the Establishment wet dream and the inevitable Brexit was just around the corner.

So here we are, the country has voted for 'freedom' when what they have actually got is a UK sized wormhole back to the 19th Century. To anyone who wants to dismiss my ananlysis with by calling me a lefty, pinko, I'll doff my cap, tug my forelock and beg your pardon sir / madam.



The Upside to a Brexit

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: BrexitEUUKBorisCorbynRemainreferendumCameron

rcl



As someone who recognises there are many things wrong with the EU, on balance I think the positives outweigh the negatives. However, there is an upside to the Brexit camp winning the day next month.

In my opinion 'Remain' will scrape home next month. But rather than be an end to it, it is merely the start of the next chapter and plan the powers that be have for this country. If we remain in the EU by a narrow margin (and all forecasts appear to suggest a close run thing) this will hand the Tories the mandate they want to get rid of Cameron and install Johnson as leader to go forward on a leave ticket and into the next election promising a second referendum 'because the last one was too close to not give people a second chance, now that Cameron's claims of managing to get certain reforms have come to nothing'. This will result in the Tories winning the 2020 election by a landslide, having nicked 3 million UKIP votes. The end.

eul

Ever since Oliver Letwin let slip a few months ago that he was advising the party that they should 'stay in the EU for the next 5 years' I think this scenario has been nailed on (presuming we vote to remain in the EU next month) and will be absolutely disastrous for everyone in the UK who isn't wealthy and the only hope of averting this, strangely, is if 'Brexit' wins next month.



NHS Deficits and the Health and Social Care Act, 2012

Gary Barker Illustration
Published by in Opinion ·
Tags: nhsdeficithealthandsocialcareactjeremyhunt




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Fleetwood, Lancashire
United Kingdom