Villain of the Year Award 2012

by George_East on January 21, 2013

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This is a post by Ray North which was originally posted on 1 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost.

After announcing our awards for Hero and Prat for 2012, it’s time to go to the dark side for our annual award for the years biggest villain.

For us, a villain is someone who has intentionally or recklessly brought misery upon their fellow man or woman. Sometimes the villainy is the wholesale slaughter and destruction of people and their homes, but not always, a callous economic or social policy can also cause profound suffering. Sadly, 2012 has seen civil war and unrest throughout the world whilst many people are still oppressed because of their race, class, gender or sexuality; there have been random acts of massive violence by armed lunatics in the USA and some deeply misguided economic and political policy making that has led to misery unemployment and poverty in many parts of the world. And, this year, more than ever this misery is very close to home – with the people of Greece, Spain and Portugal all feeling the hard smack of austerity, whilst here in the UK, the misconceived policies of the coalition are bringing suffering to many of our fellow citizens. In short it has been a vintage year for the villains, but who has made our list?

Well……. (ruffling of envelope…. dramatic pause….. confident look up towards audience) in reverse order:

5. David Cameron

For the third year in succession Prime Minister David Cameron makes it onto our list of villains.

As PM he is responsible for the substance and style of our Government. This year his government has been responsible for a series of awful mistakes – the budget, the West Coast Rail fiasco, the part-privatisation of the NHS, the collapse of the proposed boundary reforms, if he was a football manager the crowd would now have risen as one and be chanting ‘you don’t know what you’re doing.’

But, it isn’t just incompetence – he gets onto this list for being callous. This is the government that has implemented the most swingeing cuts in history and presided over a record of economic failure – largely because of its doctrinaire belief that the rich must retain their wealth and those who are on benefits or unemployed are somehow at fault. That is the thrust of this coalition government – that is why the Prime Minister is a villain.

4. George Osborne

Another Villain of the Year favourite, George Osborne has had a particularly villainous year – and, as the boos of 80,000 people at the Olympic stadium seem to suggest, it is not just us who think so. Osborne’s villainy is this – he is a rich boy (nothing wrong with that per se), but he has no ability whatsoever to relate to or sympathise with anyone who is not from the same background – to Gideon, the poor are those ‘who draw their curtains during the day and claim massive benefits.’

In his budget he cut the rate of tax for the highest earners, whilst hiking up VAT that would hit the poorest, he cut tax credits and housing benefit and hammered spending on social services – why? Because he has never had to rely upon these things – and, perhaps most villainous of all, his villainy has by any objective measure, been a failure – borrowing has grown, the economy has gone into recession and looks like going into another one, and his attempts to reduce the defecit are failing. He is a villain.

3. Iain Duncan Smith.

A man who once boasted about being the quiet man of British politics, has been quietly ensuring that many hundreds of thousands of Britain’s poorest people face a very dire future. The Tory rhetoric is that the country is divided into those who are ‘hard working‘ and those who are ‘scrounging off those who are hard-working.’ And Iain Duncan Smith’s reforms of the Welfare State have been driven by this. The Tories don’t seem to realise that the vast majority of those who claim benefits do so because they are either genuinely ill or infirm, or because they have been made unemployed by the cuts imposed by them or the recession that has been brought about by the systemic failures of our capitalist banking system. IDS’s welfare reforms punish the ill, the infirm, the ignorant, the homeless, the young, the old, the unemployed – he is a true villain.

2. President Assad of Syria

I’m sad to say that last year’s winner President Assad is this year’s runner-up, sad, because it means that after another twelve long months of blood-shed and oppression in Syria, this megalomaniacal bastard is still President of his country. The last twelve months have seen things deteriorate desperately in Syria, there is now overwhelming evidence of mass slaughter of innocent people, rape as a form of oppression, the killing of children and torture on an industrial scale. Attempts by the UN have failed to broker a lasting cease fire, let alone a solution and, as I write this the figures from the UN suggest that over 40,000 have been killed, over 200,000 injured, whilst 1.6million people have been displaced. President Assad is proper horrible villain and I hope that this time next year, he is no longer in a position to defend his position on this list.

Which brings me to this year’s winner. The winner of this year’s Allthatsleft Villain of the Year Award is…..

1. Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister of Israel. So much of the instability of the Middle East is determined by the policies of this man – a right wing, militaristic, xenophobic bully, who cares more about power than being someone who can bring a lasting security to the most combustible province on the planet. This year has seen the continued oppression of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – it has seen a fist tight blockade of these areas and the rigid control of their economic and political structures giving a total lie to the Israeli claim that they have encouraged the Palestinians to be self-sufficient.

This year has also seen Netanyahu fire missiles and bombs into Gaza City, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, without a second thought to the innocent people and children who would be killed as a result of that. It has seen a policy of mass and rapid expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in total contravention of the UN Policy, something that the Israeli advocacy group Peace Now have predicted will utterly destroy any hope that the Palestinians have of creating a viable independent state; indeed in one single week in December, Netanyahu’s government allowed plans for the building of 11,000 Jewish homes on the West Bank, beyond the borders drawn up after 1967 war. Benjamin Netanyahu may not have killed as many people as President Assad – but, his policies will ensure that Israeli and Palestinian will keep on killing eachother for many years after his stinking villainous tenure has come to an end and that is why this hateful rotter is our Villain of the Year for 2012

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