Monthly Archives: January 2019

Fake ‘anti-Semitism’ witch-hunter apparently poses as Vox Political writer to shut down crowdfunding site

[Note, February 1, 2019: I have had to change the headline to reflect developments in this story as it has developed. Further information in a future article.]

It seems somebody has impersonated This Writer in order to shut down the JustGiving crowdfunding page to provide funds for court action against people libelling me as an anti-Semite.

I’ve got a pretty good idea who it was – they appeared on my Twitter feed claiming that JustGiving rules do not allow crowdfunding for legal fees, shortly after I published my article on Rachel Riley last weekend.

This was the first I had heard of any such rule. I had set up the crowdfunding campaign in good faith, shortly after being libelled in several national newspapers at the beginning of last year, and had seen nothing in JustGiving’s terms and conditions to suggest I could not do so – nor did any representative of that site contact me with such information (obviously, as the page would not have appeared). I wonder if this was a new rule that has appeared since then.

Still, rules are rules and if there was one, fair enough. It’s a shame this site had not told me about it.

I was surprised when JustGiving contacted me this morning with an email that began, “Thanks for getting in touch with JustGiving.”

What?

I had done nothing of the sort!

So it seems this person had impersonated me in order to get the site to shut down the fund.

Doubly despicable.

We have a situation in which a person who falsely accused me of anti-Semitism then posed as me to prevent me receiving funds to challenge those false accusations.

Fortunately most of the money is safe I had already withdrawn it.

But some of you will have received refunds of donations that you made in good faith.

If you have had a refund and still want to support me – and let’s face it, there’s clearly a need to challenge these creeps – please use the “Donate” button below, and clearly state the purpose for which you want the money used.


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Right again, Vox Political! Tories admit This Site’s claim that Brexit may be delayed to allow needed legislation

What plan: This image was originally used to illustrate a story about Mr Hunt’s mismanagement of the NHS but it is appropriate here, as the Conservative government does not currently have a Brexit plan that will be accepted by both the UK and the remaining countries of the EU.

Once again, This Site has been proved correct as Jeremy Hunt admitted the EU may agree to extend the deadline for Brexit if a new deal is struck – to allow the UK to pass necessary laws.

According to The Guardian (other news sources are available), Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted article 50 may have to be extended if an agreement with the EU is reached with only a short period of time left before the March 29 deadline.

Vox Political asserted this here.

Asked if a technical delay would be necessary, Mr Hunt said: “We might need some extra time to pass critical legislation.”

Vox Political said this was likely here.

It should be noted that Mr Hunt said if an agreement was reached earlier, a delay may not be necessary. I think that is building castles in the air. With nine major Parliamentary Bills and more than 600 pieces of secondary legislation to be passed, it seems highly unlikely the government would get through it all if it started today (January 31).

Mr Hunt’s words demonstrate not only that the Conservative government has been misleading the nation on the necessity for Brexit to be delayed because of the way Theresa May has run down the clock…

… but also that This Site is the best place to find informed commentary and opinion about political matters. While the mainstream media hysterically parrot their right-wing masters, Vox Political has the balanced view.

Forgive me for sharing my pleasure at that fact.


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House of Commons needs Head Barista – capable of handling fat cats who don’t pay their bills?

It seems the House of Commons is recruiting a new head barista for its coffee bar(s). Here’s where it is mentioned on Twitter.

On that wage?

https://twitter.com/shadowman2205/status/1090734440949653507

Also, considering the habits of some of the clientele, I think there’s one skill that all applicants need to have – or they need not apply:

The ability to ensure that all bills are paid promptly.

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Don’t believe the lie: UK can NOT have 10 years’ free trade with EU post-Brexit

Here’s a nasty little lie somebody’s been putting about:

I hope you haven’t been gullible enough to believe it.

Chances are that you might have been fooled if you read Politico

… or The Express

… or listen to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It refers to Article XXIV of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which you can read here.

The suggestion is that trading terms at the formation of a customs union between two territories, or during an interim period prior to the introduction of such a union, may not be higher than previously existed between those countries, and that there must be a plan to form a full customs union within “a reasonable length of time”.

How that translates into saying that the EU must offer the UK continued free trade for at least 10 years is anybody’s guess!

I think The Independent was right when it said the people coming forward with this nonsense had got it backwards:

“Trade experts say this covers the circumstances of two countries forming a new trade agreement, not of them leaving one. And they insist that those who cite it as a reason why nothing has to change on trade after Brexit are labouring under a gross misunderstanding of the rule.

“’The idea that Article XXIV…somehow obliges the EU to continue providing the full benefits of the single market for the next ten years, or even allows the UK to unilaterally offer the EU (and no one else) market access is preposterous,’ says Dmitry Grozoubinski, a former Australian trade negotiator.

“In any case the overriding concern of industry resulting from a no-deal Brexit is not actually tariffs but the negative impact of border checks resulting from leaving the EU’s customs union and single market.”

So if anybody tries to tell you that a “no deal” Brexit is no problem because free trade will continue, you tell them they’re either fatally weak-minded or a damned liar.

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Tory rules try to push victims of domestic violence back into the hands of their abusers

We always knew Theresa May’s “hostile environment” extended to more people than immigrants and EU nationals.

She doesn’t like people from broken homes either. Perhaps it’s her puritanical, daughter-of-a-vicar blood.

Mrs May would prefer it if people – mostly women, of course – who suffer domestic abuse would suffer in silence, rather than burdening the Department for Work and Pensions with annoying claims for benefits.

Annoyingly – for her – the morals of the age require her government to present the appearance of one that cares when people come to harm.

So the DWP has devised a wealth of rules designed to make it seem it is doing its best for victims, while in fact keeping them in poverty and pain.

Alex Tiffin lists some of them on his Universal Credit Sufferer website:

There’s an entire page on getting help if you’re a victim of domestic abuse on the DWP website.

On the page it lists certain conditions, yes conditions, victims must meet.

They include;

“You will need written evidence from a person acting in an official capacity showing that:

  • your circumstances are consistent with those of a person who has had domestic violence or abuse inflicted, or threatened, upon them, during the 6 months prior to you notifying
  • you have made contact with the person acting in an official capacity to tell them about any incidents that have occurred in the past 6 months

“You must provide your evidence to Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible but no later than one calendar month after you first told us about the domestic violence and abuse.”

So a victim of domestic abuse not only has to open up to work coach about their abuse, then they get asked for proof?

The requirements do not end there. Once they’ve decided to accept that you have been a victim, you MAY be allowed a 13 week break from looking for work, but only if you satisfy the next set of criteria.

The most notable of them being,

“you have not had a 13 week break from work-related requirements as a result of previous domestic violence within the last 12 months”.

In some cases of domestic violence, the victim may return to their abuser. This is well known and it’s hard to think the DWP wouldn’t have known this.

This means a benefit claimant who’s endured repeated abuse, just has to battle on because they’ve been unfortunate enough to be abused twice in a year.

The simple fact is that life on benefits is appallingly hard – the Conservatives have deliberately made it so.

The system means survival is slightly easier for couples (at least, that has been This Writer’s experience) – and it is entirely possible that domestic abuse victims, in the impossible situation of being unable to find paying work and unable to survive under the cruel conditions of Universal Credit, end up believing they have no choice other than to return to their abuser.

Once there, DWP rules say they must stay for at least a year – no matter what abuse they suffer.

Some might even die.

But that’s why it’s called a “hostile environment”, you see.

The DWP won’t care because the death of a claimant is listed as a “positive benefit outcome”.

Information on where abuse victims can get genuine help is available in the Universal Credit Sufferer article.

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New council chief gets £55 for UNCONTESTED elections – and there’s no money for services

Powys County Hall.

What a barmy contradiction!

Powys is, geographically, the largest county in Wales – with the smallest population. It habitually receives the least extra cash in the annual settlement from the Welsh Assembly.

As a result, it struggles to provide services – partly because private companies that carry out many of those services assume local authorities have money to burn and charge accordingly (I had that from a council officer).

It must be true, the reasoning runs, because just look at the salaries paid to the council’s chief officers.

And salaries paid to chief officers are high because if they weren’t on a par with richer councils, nobody would even offer to do the job.

So everyone with a chance to demand more is on the take – and who can blame them in these uncertain times?

And public services suffer.

But the only reason we pay our taxes – council tax, income tax, and any other tax that feeds into local authority budgets – is to receive public services.

But (again) we can’t withhold our tax money on the grounds that these services are being withheld from us, because that is a crime and we would be fined at the very least (thereby giving more money into the pot).

Whatever happens, we lose. And this will continue as long as public servants are paid £55 for doing nothing at all.

Incoming Powys chief executive Dr Caroline Turner, has been given a cash boost worth more than £25,000 by Powys councillors.

This will be on top of her salary of £138,000 a year.

At the Full PCC meeting on Thursday, January 24, councillors had to appoint Dr Turner to … statutory roles [including] election returning officer.

There are five sets of fees, some of which are set by external bodies:

Parliamentary elections fees which are set at Westminster – £2,685 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,500 for Montgomeryshire.

Welsh Assembly election fees of £4,730 for Brecon and Radnorshire and for Montgomeryshire it’s £4,730.

Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner (set by the Police and Crime Commissioner Board) – £2,870 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,574 for Montgomeryshire.

European Elections (which may not happen again) – £5,952.

Local Government elections £110 per contested ward and £55 per uncontested ward.

Source: POWYS: New Chief Executive gets over 25k payment boost | County Times

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DWP lies about Universal Credit again: Poster boy ‘Charlie’ is an ACTOR

Here’s Charlie. According to Amber Rudd, he’s a Universal Credit success story who has now embarked on a “training career”.

And… here’s Charlie. According to The Canary, based on research by Universal Credit Sufferer writer Alex Tiffin, he’s a TV extra who has appeared on programmes including First Dates.

Yes, we’re discussing the same person.

Here’s what Mr Tiffin found:

Gosh – a Universal Credit claimant who’s been able to travel extensively and enjoy other recreational activities (without being harassed by the DWP)? It seems too good to be true!

One wonders if the DWP got him from the same acting agency as the so-called Vicar of Brexit?

But the DWP said it was true…

… and then the DWP deleted the advert from its website, perhaps after reading the details of Charlie’s recent life in the Canary article.

Still unanswered are the questions asked in that piece,  which were:

  • Why it got a media professional to take part in its video.
  • Why it got someone who has seemingly not been in extended periods of financial difficulty.
  • Why it thought Watson was representative of Universal Credit.
  • Why it failed to inform viewers of his background.

It’s like some kind of reverse IQ test – are people stupid enough to believe the DWP’s lies yet?

Remember Zac and Sarah?

‘Zac’ – he doesn’t exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

‘Sarah’ – she doesn’t exist and her story is a fake.

Fictional people, played by actors.

They were part of a publicity initiative by the DWP under Iain Duncan Smith in 2015, which I discussed in this article at the time.

It seems the DWP has not learned its lesson – or its leaders think we have poor memories.

Perhaps it is hoping that our intelligence is failing us.

Well, it isn’t and we don’t.

Amber Rudd is trying to brazen it out – all she has done so far is remove the offending advert from the DWP’s website.

But she has tried to deceive the people of the UK – as Iain Duncan Smith tried in 2015. We deserve an apology –  or better still, a resignation. She’ll be familiar with the process.

Homeless man suffers ‘severe burns’ after being attacked and set on fire

This could happen to any of us – including the culprits.

Thanks to our charming, caring, compassionate Conservative government, millions of UK citizens have savings of less than £100, are in jobs that are slowly putting them in debt, or are on benefits that may be suspended at any time, for the flimsiest reasons.

It is easier to lose your home now than at any time in nearly 80 years at least.

And thanks to Tory propaganda, people who are homeless are considered to be less than human, and are often treated as such.

It’s a fascist attitude, and it leads to crimes like this.

The Tories mouth regretful platitudes but actions speak louder than words and while they could reverse the trend of increasing homelessness, they don’t.

The victim of this attack will survive. One day he may even get a home. But his hands will never be the same again.

All due to the blind, unthinking hate fostered by Tory “divide and conquer” policies.

A homeless man has been “deliberately” set on fire as he was sleeping in a park.

West Midlands Police believe two people approached the victim in the Swanswell Park and Pool area of Coventry, poured lighter fluid over his hands and then set him alight.

Investigators said the man was thought to have suffered “severe burns”.

The attack took place some time on late Saturday night or the early hours of Sunday morning, they added.

Earlier this month a homeless man was left with nothing but the clothes on his back after his van was engulfed by flames in what is suspected to be a deliberate attack in Whitstable, Kent.

Source: Homeless man ‘deliberately’ set on fire as he slept in park, police say | The Independent

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‘First do no harm’: Public to lobby Parliament over DWP assessments

Activists are to lobby Parliament next month in a bid to persuade MPs to impose stricter rules on the assessors hired by private firms to judge whether people claiming sickness and/or disability benefits are faking it.

The First Do No Harm lobby on February 13 aims to expose the continued harm caused to disabled people by the Tory government’s work capability assessments (WCAs), concentrating on the repeated failure of assessors hired by the Department for Work and Pensions to collect and pay proper regard to further medical evidence, as needed to judge a claimant’s eligibility for sickness and disability benefits.

It has been organised by Labour’s Treasury and work and pensions teams, through shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood, after campaigning by the disabled people’s grassroots group Black Triangle and other disabled activists.

The aim is to push for the principle of “First Do No Harm” – a concept that should be at the heart of any true medical professional’s moral code – to be included in the benefits assessment process, through a framework that “treats disabled people with dignity and respect”.

This would introduce new “safety protocols” to ensure that the health and lives of disabled people are not put at risk by unfair decisions on eligibility following a WCA.

The lobby also aims to push the Conservative government to bow to years of pressure to carry out a cumulative assessment of the impact of its social security cuts and reforms on disabled people.

And it will call for an end to the government’s sanctions and conditionality regime.

The lobby is due to take place on Wednesday 13 February between 1pm and 6pm, with the briefing from 2-3.30pm, in the Palace of Westminster’s committee room 15. The committee room can be used for one-to-one meetings with MPs or further discussions on the issue from 1-2pm and then from 3.30-6pm

You can read more details in this Disability News Service article – and then you are invited to help out.

While the lobby has been organised by Labour, it is hoped that MPs from all parties will attend – especially Conservatives. And they’re only likely to do so if their constituents demand it.

It doesn’t matter if you are sick, disabled or able-bodied – if you want your MP to attend the lobby, get in touch – for example, by using the website WriteToThem, saying you wish to seek an appointment on the day of the lobby.

One more thing: Spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and any other social network you use.

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Brexit Plan B wins support – but the pound crashes as May goes back to the EU with a contradiction

Theresa May must ask the EU to reopen negotiations on her Brexit agreement with a contradictory mandate from Parliament. Continue reading