Pascal Lamy’s verdict on Iain Duncan Smith’s idea of Brexit is priceless

The BBC’s Politics Live is not normally the place to go for incisive political debate, or even satire. Mostly it’s just a gang of right-wingers sitting around a table saying how great the Tories are and how awful Jeremy Corbyn is. But that changed when former World Trade Organisation director Pascal Lamy was brought in to debate Brexit with, among others, former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith. Mr Lamy’s responses made my day. Here’s a quick snapshot: Ex-WTO director Pascal Lamy has an opinion on Iain Duncan Smith's Brexit plan.…

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Local voters turn away from the Tories and their swingeing cuts to embrace Labour’s message

Labour is enjoying strong appeal among voters in the local elections on Thursday (May 2), with a message of opposition to cuts by the Tory government that will take £1.3 billion out of the economy: The local elections on Thursday are your chance to elect Labour councillors who will stand up for your community. pic.twitter.com/dFHV3kCvbL — Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 29, 2019 The Tories, by contrast, aren’t doing quite as well: Ross Kempsell, Political Editor at talkRADIO, has reported that many Tory candidates are not even bothering to canvass, just…

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The Home Office is continuing to harm the vulnerable – due to incompetence and bullying?

The “hostile environment” at the Home Office is alive and thriving under Sajid Javid, it seems. It is surprising that the Tories have claimed they want to make whistleblowing easier. Can’t they tell from this example that they’ll be overrun by complaints from inside the civil service? Chaos, incompetence and bullying of Home Office employees is resulting in failed deportations and the unlawful detention of vulnerable and desperate people, whistleblowers allege. Source: Home Office chaos and incompetence lead to unlawful detentions, claim whistleblowers | UK news | The Guardian Vox…

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Labour MP says two-fifths of her constituents on Universal Credit are considering suicide

Cat Smith, a Labour MP, has written to Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd to say – well, read it for yourself: I’ve just had 40% of my constituents at advice surgery today tell me they’re ready to end their lives because of the misery of your Universal Credit system. Letter to follow with the individual cases, but ultimately the system is failing. Cat Smith MP The DWP’s favourite excuse for benefit related suicides is that the issue is extremely complex and no suicide could be exclusively attributed to the…

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Reminder: We have a health secretary – and a government – that wants to privatise the NHS

Andrew Lansley introduced a law to privatise the health service by stealth; Jeremy Hunt part-wrote a book in support of it. Why should we think Matt Hancock is any different? Answer: We shouldn’t. Look: Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of being “in hock to fringe right wingers” after teaming up with a think tank who want to close hospitals and ramp up NHS workers’ hours The top Tory is today launching a report by right wingers the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), calling for more automation in the Health Service.…

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More DWP cruelty as paralysed woman told she’s fit for work because HUSBAND missed appointment

This is a tale of disaster averted as the DWP has at least realised that a paralysed woman cannot be fit for work. That said, it is vital that carers keep tabs on every communication regarding the people for whom they are providing that care. Those of you who have been reading Vox Political for a long time will know that Mrs Mike has been sick/disabled for many years and I am her carer. Her condition is such that she doesn’t always remember various medical appointments and has moments in which…

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Theresa May’s latest Brexit nightmare involves the Queen herself

All the prevarication and delay over Brexit has backed Theresa May into a tight corner that could end her government – and not a moment too soon. And it all revolves around the Queen’s Speech. Each session of Parliament kicks off with a speech from Her Majesty, written by the government, setting out the agenda for the new session. The current session was expected to be two years long because of the extra work necessary to pass Brexit. But now everything else on the programme has been handled except Brexit,…

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DWP says there’s no need to review its safeguarding procedures. The late Stephen Smith might disagree

Remember the Department for Work and Pensions’ rejection of a petition demanding an independent review of its safeguarding procedures, after the death of Jodey Whiting? The department had ignored its own safeguarding procedures no less than five times before Ms Whiting committed suicide in February 2017. But the DWP said it had no plans for an inquiry into its treatment of claimants – and destroyed a report on other safeguarding failures – in only 18 London job centres – rather than allow it to become public after a Freedom of Information…

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Tories could lose 1,000 seats in local elections – so BOJOB speaks up? Please…

Conservative leaders are extremely concerned about the results of Thursday’s local elections because it seems they don’t have to cash to run their usual campaigns. It seems clear from this that they don’t believe for a moment that their candidates could be elected on personal merit. See: The Tories could lose as many as 1,000 seats in this week’s local elections, as the party reportedly faces running out of cash. Party bosses fear they face losing up to a quarter of their 5,521 council seats across the country, according to…

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Was Huawei contract a pay-off for former Conservative advisors?

Well, well, well… Huawei. I didn’t know what to make of it when the row broke out over a leaked report saying Huawei was being contracted to help build the UK’s 5G communications network, despite concerns over national security. Concerns over whether spyware would be inserted into the network had been commonplace in advance of the decision and it seemed odd to me that the Conservative government would ignore those concerns. The possibility that this was the result of mischief by leading Tories who saw the issue as a tool…

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