The whole unspun truth is given briefly in the FT: “a ban on charges for paying via credit or debit card comes into force across the EU from Saturday, making it unlawful for retailers to charge customers additional fees for paying on plastic”.
Though the whole truth is too tall an order in matters of diplomacy, the government wold have been well advised to emulate the FT’s delivery.
No longer confined to the mainstream media, adventures with the truth are mercilessly mocked on social media and more radical media:
See Steve Walker’s shot of the official Conservative Twitter site:
The Independent’s gentler account quotes British MEPs who criticised the Government for claiming responsibility for the move, “which comes as part of a broad range of new payment regulations based on an EU–wide directive that was spearheaded by left-wing politicians in the European Parliament”.
We expect a jaded public response to this ‘business as usual’ spin. No longer has financial or political dishonesty the power to surprise.
May the British public one day routinely hear the truth – or would that be electoral suicide?
Is Mr Critchley (Violence is already present in the Koran) aware that software engineer Tom Anderson processed the text of the Bible and the Koran to find which contained the most violence?
Using Odin Text analytics software, he analysed both the New International Version of the Old and New Testaments as well as an English-language version of the Quran from 1957.
This found that killing and destruction are referenced slightly more often in the New Testament (2.8%) than in the Quran (2.1%), but the Old Testament clearly leads—more than twice that of the Quran—in mentions of destruction and killing (5.3%).” Details here.
See also requests for vengeance (smiting the enemy) in the Psalms still used in Anglican churches.
And huge numbers of innocents have already been slaughtered during this young century at the behest of Anglo-Saxon, nominally Christian, governments.
Much of the media is taking its usual stance referring to Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘handlers’ as though he were a pit bull terrier. The Times has determined that he was making a bid to relaunch his leadership which has been derailed and Jim Pickard in the FT, author of many hostile articles, focusses on pay caps but not pay ratios.
It is good to turn to sane and rightminded commentators such as Peter Burgess (Times comments) and Maisie Carter (recent article). Peter spells out the Corbyn message with absolute clarity and rather more bluntly than JC:
- It is very clear he wants top execs pay to reflect that of the lowest paid worker for them to earn more and not rely on tax payers to boost their salaries and for the top execs to earn a decent salary but nor one that is obscene (sadly so many Tories want to see the poor get poorer and the rich richer).
- He also wants to ensure that we continue to bring in workers when needed but ensure they don’t depress wages for British workers.
- Of course those at the top getting obscene salaries want to disgrace Corbyn because the last thing they want is for their salaries to fall under £500,000 a year.
- There’s big and there’s obscene especially when they are telling others to tighten their belts, can’t afford to pay you more then handing themselves 7 and 8 figure salaries and bonuses.
- What shows double standards are all those commenting on here who think salaries of over £100,000 a year are too much if somebody is running the NHS, a local authority or running a Union.
- I do find it difficult to understand how anybody can find the policies which have allowed so many workers to have their wages and working conditions deteriorate whilst CEO’s are paying themselves up to 700x the salary of their employees as being fair and something they’d support.
- I would add that labour to their shame played an important part in allowing these obscene differentials since Maggie was in office. Some of them thought £500,000 a year for them and their friends was not enough.
- Yes Corbyn needs to keep shaming all those, including some labour MP’s who’ve happily supported the policy of “austerity” that have hit the poorest whilst allowing the richest to continue to get richer.
- I’d support a return to the differentials back in the days of Maggie. Top execs back then were hardly struggling. 20x / 30x acceptable 700x isn’t!
Endnote: Maisie Carter’s appeal
“Unite around Jeremy Corbyn’s ten point programme, which proposes the building of one million homes in five years, a free national education service, a secure, publicly provided NHS, with an end to health privatisation, full employment, an end to zero hours contracts, security at work, action to secure an equal society, a progressive tax system, shrink the gap between highest and lowest paid; aim to put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy. On the last point, as the wars waged or aided by the West are the cause of mass immigration, we must step up foreign aid and instead of spending £37bn a year on foreign wars as our government does, invest in helping to rebuild these war torn countries”.
Read Maisie’s article in full here.
Corbyn ‘decamping’ to ‘gilded enclave’ – over the shop
Yesterday Jim Pickard, aka chief political correspondent, tried to make capital out of the Labour Party’s forced relocation to premises above the Habitat shop in Kensington.
The party has been searching for a new base because Anquila Corporation, which owns the building, decided to redevelop it next year – ordering workers out by Christmas. Labour’s attempts to find appropriate accommodation near Parliament were unsuccessful: a large number of small offices have been converted to residential use in recent years.
Pickard reports that one Labour insider said the move to Kensington High Street – to a cheap “shell” building – was only temporary while the search for a permanent headquarters continued. It could be as little as four months, he said.
Before rehashing allusions to disunity in the ranks of the Labour MPs he endeavoured to convey the impression that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party had lost its head and principles – moving to W8, ‘the most expensive postcode in the country’ and worse: ‘decamping’ to the ‘gilded enclave of Kensington’
This, though.“Mr Corbyn came to power this summer on a wave of old-fashioned leftwing policies, calling for an end to injustice and inequality” – implying at best double standards and at worst a decline into a dereliction of those principles, won over – like many other politicians – by the political gravy train.
He ends, not with a bang but a whimper:
“The idea of an increasingly leftwing Labour party being housed in one of London’s most affluent neighbourhoods will still raise eyebrows, however, given Mr Corbyn’s commitment to tackling poverty.
What small news item will be seized on and ‘embroidered’ next?
Is Mr Barber hoping to move to a populist newspaper?
After presenting the Greek general election as a “duel between reason and unreason” (FT, January 20), Tony Barber in Athens – in language unworthy of the Financial Times – records the success of Syriza in the Greek general election.
His selection of emotive phrases in the first five paragraphs, calculated to diminish the new government’s image, includes:
- ‘odd couple of Greek politics’ – to be translated according to the readers’ prejudices;
- its coalition: ‘an unholy alliance’;
- ‘eastern Mediterranean bedfellows’;
- ‘the apparent madness of Mr Tsipras in jumping under the sheets with Panos Kammenos, leader of the Independent Greeks’;
- ‘muzzle Syriza ultra-leftist factions’ – mad dog implication
- ‘Europe’s radical left’ – more in the offing, a threat.
Mr Barber then pulls himself together and delivers the sort of dispassionate analysis of the difficulties facing the new Greek government, which is consistent with the FT’s usual approach.