‘Scum’ Tories use indignation over insult to hide their refusal to support people in Covid-related hardship

If the cap fits: Christopher Clarkson breaks off whizzing through a speech vilifying Labour to wonder why Labour MPs are vilifying him.

What a lot of fuss over such a little word!

Admittedly, I wouldn’t like it if someone called me “scum” while I was making a speech.

But let’s consider the context.

The Labour Party was using its Opposition Day to discuss the criteria under which the government provides funding to jobs and businesses facing its new restrictions, and to demand that the Tories honour their claim that they will ensure workers receive at least 80 per cent of their previous incomes while on the Job Support Scheme extension and facing hardship.

Here’s what prize Tory Christopher Clarkson had to say about it:

You can see why Angela Rayner said what she did, I’m sure!

Clarkson’s complaint cut no ice with members of the public, for whom Rayner’s contribution to the debate had made up for six months of near-silence as Keir Starmer’s sidekick. Here’s part of her speech:

Responses so far show the public overwhelmingly on her side:

And they were quick to call out Clarkson’s complaint as a tactic, intended to distract from the thrust of the debate:

Last word goes to this commenter, who raises the issue of class:

“Spumae”, by the way, is the Latin for scum. Expect to hear it in the Commons – a lot – over the next few years.

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If these lies are all Johnson has, Sadiq Khan is on course for a second term as London mayor

Boris Johnson used Prime Minister’s Questions to launch an unwise and unmerited two-pronged attack on London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

First he said that financial problems suffered by Transport for London (TfL) were Khan’s fault.

The Department for Transport is, it seems, refusing to provide £5.65 billion to keep TfL running after it suffered huge losses due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. It is offering a “papering-over-the-cracks” funding package that comes with a demand that Khan accepts measures including higher council tax, a larger congestion charge zone and higher tube and bus fares – including the removal of free travel for children and young people. Otherwise, the threat is that the Westminster government will take over control of TfL from City Hall.

Asked if he was going to inflict a congestion charge on four million Londoners who had already been afflicted with Covid-19 and financial ruin, Johnson said: “The current Mayor of London had effectively bankrupted TfL before coronavirus had even hit and left a massive black hole in its finances… Any expansion of the congestion charge or any other measure taken to improve the finances of TfL are entirely the responsibility of the bankrupt current Labour Mayor of London.”

Responding to a further question from Tory Bob Blackman, Johnson became extremely concerned with self-justification: “The black hole in [the] finances of TfL, the bankruptcy of TfL, which, by the way, was left in robust financial health by the previous Mayor—it certainly was—is entirely the fault of the current Labour Mayor of London, with his grossly irresponsible demagogic fare policies, which, I may say, were never pursued by the previous Mayor of London, and the fault lies entirely with him.”

But Johnson’s claims were put to rest within minutes by the fact-checkers at the BBC’s Politics Live:

Khan himself brought figures directly relating to TfL to TV audiences later:

Not satisfied with one lie, Johnson also used PMQs to claim that Hammersmith Bridge is falling down because of Khan’s “incompetence”: “Hammersmith bridge has been closed thanks entirely to the incompetence of the current Labour Mayor of London, and that Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate, is going to reopen it, which is the best thing possible.”

In fact, the incompetent who failed to repair the bridge at the right time was Boris Johnson himself.

The bridge was built 133 years ago and is structurally unsafe after decades of failure – by successive political authorities – to repair it while traffic for which it was never intended used it.

It was closed in 2014 and repairs could have been authorised in 2016 – but the mayor at the time – Boris Johnson – refused to authorise them.

Instead, Boris Johnson spent around £50 million on consultants working on his vanity ‘Garden Bridge’ project that was ultimately cancelled.

Oh, and didn’t a bomb go off there as well?

The public were having none of Boris Johnson‘s lies:

Shaun Bailey has agreed that he would re-open Hammersmith Bridge if he became London Mayor…

… he just didn’t say he would repair it first. So members of the public have drawn their own conclusions about what he would do:

Yes indeed: “Shaun Bailey will probably suggest a zip wire across the river.”

The issue of the bridge can be summed up in this tweet:

That’s right – Boris Johnson can indeed make it up. And he did.

But we know the facts. All he has done is show the world he’s the stupidest kind of liar – and that his lickspittle Bailey should never be given elected office anywhere.

When Khan became London Mayor, he was voted in with the highest personal mandate of any UK politician in history.

Johnson’s words today may help ensure that he is re-elected with a mandate that is even higher.

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Jenrick’s definition of fair funding: £237/person in his rich constituency – £7.95/person in Manchester

Robert Jenrick: what dictionary did he use when he looked up his definition of fair?

Why was housing secretary Robert Jenrick part of the negotiating team handling support for Greater Manchester while it is in Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions?

Clearly, it can’t be because he can be trusted with money; he corruptly induced a fellow MP to approve a grant for his constituency totalling £237 per person recently – contrast that with the £7.95 per person for Manchester. And Jenrick’s constituency isn’t in Tier 3!

Doesn’t it seem more likely that the opposite is true – that he was certain to deprive Manchester of the cash it needed? The precedent is there in his handling of Richard Desmond’s Tower Hamlet’s planning application, which Jenrick manipulated in order to deny London’s poorest borough £45 million.

He seems to have thought he could get away with this sleight of hand.

He thought wrong.

So after he appeared on TV saying this…

… the public responded with the facts:

And today the Commons will be debating whether children should have free school meals because, after years of Tory deprivation, their parents can no longer afford to feed them. What will Jenrick’s contribution be?

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No sugar for Lord Alan’s sidekick after he tells Mancunians to ‘suck it up’

‘Suck it in’: but public reaction to Claude Littner suggests that he’s the one who sucks.

If he had an ounce of self-consciousness, Claude Littner would be apologising to the people of Manchester – and the UK – after his TV outburst.

The businessman, said to be worth £34 million, told Mancunians who will enter Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions tomorrow (October 22) to “suck it up” and “take it on the chin”.

Easy for him to say! He won’t be trying to survive on £5.84 per hour.

Sprinkled among these harsh words were lines straight out of Boris Johnson’s script: “Work together”… “Make sure the NHS is protected”.

For once, the public reaction was harder than the “hard man” of The Apprentice:

No it doesn’t.

And he’d be complaining to the government pretty damn fast if his income stream dropped because his employees were too busy starving to come to work.

As Greater Manchester goes into tighter Covid restrictions, why did Matt Hancock break them AGAIN?

Where’s your mask, Hancock? He reckons he had one on for most of the journey and only took it off towards the end; he should have had it on throughout so he should be fined. Right?

Death Secretary Matt Hancock has been caught flaunting Covid-19 restrictions yet again – this time by failing to wear a face mask in a chauffeur-driven car.

This Site now expects to see evidence that Hancock has paid the £200 fine faced by the public if they fail to follow this restriction.

Where is it?

Hancock is, of course, an habitual offender. He has been photographed many times breaking social distancing rules in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has put Greater Manchester under the tightest level of Covid-19-related restrictions in England – Tier 3 – with fines starting at £200 per individual, £1,000 per business – for breaking them.

They will have to pay. Why not Hancock?

Source: Matt Hancock seen in chauffeur-driven car without mask – BBC News

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Johnson forces Greater Manchester into pointless Tier 3 lockdown – penalising people for voting Labour?

 

Businesses in Greater Manchester are to close at huge cost to themselves after Boris Johnson imposed Tier 3 lockdown without offering a reasonable support package.

Tier 3 conditions don’t mean every firm will close – but significant harm will be done. The financial support package Mr Johnson is providing totals £8 per member of the local population.

Not only that: Tier 3 conditions will not stop the spread of Covid-19 (although they may slow it down a little).

So there seems little point to this…

Apart from to harm a Labour-voting area. I think this is party political.

Here in Wales, the Labour-led government is imposing a two-week lockdown in which all businesses apart from suppliers of food/groceries will close and people will be discouraged from leaving their homes.

The support package for this totals £300 million – more than £90 per person for the two-week period.

It’s still not perfect. It’s still controversial. But it’s hugely better than anything Johnson is offering.

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Facebook HAS been filtering out left-wing news. Is it time to check your settings? 

Facebook: presumably, all the silhouetted people here have been cut off from the left-wing news-related articles they wanted to read and are wandering aimlessly in search of them. Isn’t it time this interference was ended?

The social media platform Facebook has confirmed that it knowingly changed its news algorithms to filter out sites like Vox Political from your feeds.

The claim is that this was in response to pressure from right-wingers who claimed that they were being victimised.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, Mark Zuckerberg.

This lopsided treatment appears to have continued: SKWAWKBOX readers have reported posts they have shared disappearing from their newsfeeds, ‘see first’ settings disappearing in spite of repeated attempts to prioritise the page’s updates and other anomalies when they try to view or share news.

If you get your links to articles by This Site, or Skwawkbox, or The Canary, or any of the other left-wing sites via Facebook, it seems now would be a good time to check that the system hasn’t messed with your preference settings.

Alternatively, why not cut out the middle man altogether?

In the right-hand column of this page (if you’re using a computer) there’s a section marked “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL”. It’s easy to use and won’t take more than a minute of your time.

Then you can be sure of receiving the articles you want to see. Isn’t that better than letting some faceless Facebook fascist separate you from what you want to see?

Source: Confirmed: Facebook changed its system to filter out left news from user feeds while leaving right untouched – SKWAWKBOX

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McCluskey targeted again: he’s right to apologise – but not for anti-Semitism

Len McCluskey: his words were not anti-Semitic.

Unite union leader Len McCluskey has rightly apologised to Peter Mandelson for comments in a BBC Newsnight report – but claims that his words were anti-Semitic are wholly wrong.

Responding to disparaging comments from Mandelson about the Jeremy Corbyn era of the Labour Party, McCluskey had said that he should go away and “count his gold”.

As this had nothing to do with the matters under discussion – and seems intended as an insult – it is right that McCluskey has issued an apology:

Sadly some people have chosen to interpret McCluskey’s words as an anti-Semitic trope:

There’s just one problem with that interpretation – and it’s a big one:

Peter Mandelson is not Jewish.

Jewishness is handed down by female family members and Mandelson’s mother was a gentile. He isn’t Jewish.

And consider this: isn’t it strange that one person with Jewish ancestors is said to be Jewish (for the purpose of attacking someone else), while another person with Jewish ancestors was told repeatedly that she was not (for the purpose of attacking her), even though she did self-identify as such?

To me, this seems just another opportunistic lie, made to attack a person on the left wing of UK politics.

Type “McCluskey” into the search box on Twitter and you’ll be able to make a list of the names and handles of a large number of fellow travellers who support this lie. Some of them are well-known so it is worth making that list.

And, as there is (clearly) still a strong campaign to disparage and discredit people on the left wing of politics, let’s see if the same names crop up to support the next lie.

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A polite letter to Therese Coffey [TRIGGER WARNING]

Phillip Herron.

[Yes, this article comes with a trigger warning as it discusses matters which some people may find extremely upsetting.]

Dear Ms Coffey,

Please take a good, long look at the image accompanying this. It is the last photograph of Phillip Herron, taken minutes before he took his own life.

Mr Herron died because your employees at the Department for Work and Pensions could not be bothered to take their fingers out of their collective posteriors long enough to pay him the Universal Credit he was owed. He would undoubtedly be alive now if they had.

No doubt the DWP officers concerned would say they did not need to pay Mr Herron as Universal Credit is paid in arrears and his five-week wait had not yet ended. They were “only following orders”, they will say, echoing the so-called Nuremberg Defence that did not protect any German soldiers who were prosecuted for ensuring the deaths of so many people during World War II.

You, together with previous Work and Pensions secretaries, and many other Conservative MPs past and present, justify the wait with the mantra that delaying payment for more than a month prepares claimants for the world of work, but we all know that is not true.

It attacks their mental health. It causes depression and despair, and ultimately can lead to suicidal thoughts. Mr Herron’s death is a matter of Conservative government policy.

When he died, he had just £4.61 in his bank account and debts of more than £20,000 that were escalating due to that five-week wait for Universal Credit.

£20,000 is not a substantial sum of money in this day and age. I know you have said it is in interviews, but just take a look at your own bank balance. You probably consider that to be small change; the kind of pocket money you might spend on a night out.

It is one-sixth of the pay rise you will receive next year, just for being a member of Parliament.

It could have been handled. There are ways to ensure debt can be paid off within a reasonable period of time, no matter what the debtor’s means. But Mr Herron could not see that because your system forced him to concentrate on the negative aspects of his situation.

He saw no way out because you denied it to him. So he took his own life. His blood is on your hands. I understand DWP jargon describes that as a “positive benefit outcome”.

Now his three young children must go through life without a father – because that is what you demanded.

Their upbringing is likely to be a much greater burden on public funds than paying his Universal Credit claim – because that is what you demanded.

And there are countless others in the same predicament right now – because that is what you demand.

Your system does not help anybody. It pressurises them; it brutalises them; it forces them to consider the unthinkable – because that is what you demand.

It does not matter whether you spoke the words. You ordered the death of this man.

Please make a copy of his photograph and put it on your wall. Then, every day, when you come into work, you can spend time looking at it – and try to find a way to justify the fact that you caused him to die.

You can find more information – and more than 18,000 comments from members of the public – in this Facebook post.

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Tory heretic Baker says Church of England could lose official status for criticising Brexit

Steve Baker: what’s the line I’m looking for? “Before he demands the bishops remove the mote from their eye, he should remove the plank from his own”?

Perhaps Steve Baker should be excommunicated? His true religion appears to be Brexit, anyway.

After Church of England bishops spoke out in the House of Lords against Boris Johnson’s ridiculous ‘Australia-style’ (read: ‘no deal’) Brexit, the oily Baker slithered straight to The Times with his ridiculous suggestion.

The Times is behind a paywall, which limits the damage. I certainly won’t pay Rupert Murdoch any money just to see what he said… but then I don’t have to. Here’s what he said:

I don’t know why Tories say stupid things like this, though. It only lays them wide open to mockery and ridicule, viz.:

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