Monthly Archives: June 2020

Why are the Tories refusing to tell us how many people they are testing for Covid-19?

Matt Hancock: incomprehensible and incompetent.

You know it has to be a big fail when the Tories have spent more than a month adding to it, every day.

This story goes back to April 5, when Boris Johnson promised that 100,000 people would be tested for Covid-19 every day by the end of the month.

On April 30, the Tories duly lied to the nation – and their claim was instantly debunked by, among others, This Site. The claim was that nearly 130,000 tests were carried out; in fact the total was only slightly more than 70,000, if I recall correctly.

The rest were tests that had been sent out – but the government had no idea whether they had actually been used.

And of course there is a huge difference between the number of tests that were carried – and/or sent – out, and the number of people who have been tested.

The Tories continued failing to meet their target for a further fortnight, then gave up completely and simply resorted to saying the figures were “unavailable” – every day for a month.

Then today – June 30 – Matt Hancock appeared on the BBC’s Breakfast News, where he gave the following incomprehensible explanation for failing to provide the facts:

Gobbledygook!

And he was called out on it by Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, a show that has been boycotted by Tory politicians for many weeks now, because they are afraid they will be asked awkward questions.

That’s an attitude that opens them up to awkward criticisms instead, viz.:

At the end of the day, we’re no wiser about the number of tests being carried out or what the results may mean.

We can be sure of one thing, though:

The UK’s Conservative government is utterly incompetent.

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New deal? No deal! We can’t accept a plan for the future from the failed PM who deliberately wrecked it

Some have suggested that it was a campaign speech – and as such an indication that the Johnson government is rudderless.

Some have suggested that it was an admission of six months of failure and guilt.

Those are the more palatable options.

To This Writer, it seems far more likely that Boris Johnson has taken advantage of a Hell-sent opportunity to reduce the United Kingdom to helplessness – and is now working out how he can re-mould it for his own personal profit.

I don’t believe any of the promises he made. He mentioned the mythical 40 new hospitals he has been promising us for the last – what – nearly a year, now. Bear this in mind:

At a time when almost every industry other than construction was at a standstill, and the economy could have benefited from a large government investment, not a single stone was laid on any such new hospitals. Not one.

So we must ask: when Johnson says he will “build, build, build” with a £5 billion plan for homes and infrastructure… who will benefit?

Questions have already been asked about the cost. It seems £5 billion is unlikely to cover all the claims he made in his speech. But this is nothing new to those of us with any long-term experience of Johnson.

He talks big but delivers little.

When Johnson mentions an “opportunity guarantee” to ensure the chance of an apprenticeship or placement, I fear for the future of young people.

When he says he wants “to fix the problems that were most brutally illuminated in that covid lightning flash”, I question whether he means problems we faced, or problems for him? Where is the detail that could put our minds at ease? We find it – like Johnson – is sadly lacking.

Look at his promise to change planning laws.

Those laws are in place to safeguard the people and the environment – two things about which Johnson cares little.

How would his changes affect developments like the controversial Westferry plan, that has mired both Housing Minister Robert Jenrick and Johnson himself in a huge corruption scandal?

“Sometimes you have got to get on with things,” said Johnson. To hide Tory wrongdoing?

You can be sure that, whatever happens next, Johnson and his government will be cherry-picking who they help, and who they throw to the wall; which firms he helps, and which go out of businesses.

If I had the money, I’d make a hefty bet that the beneficiaries of Johnson’s “New Deal” will be those that make donations to the Conservative and Unionist Party – and that those who don’t currently make a contribution will be put under considerable pressure to start.

All as a matter of economic necessity, of course. Nobody will catch a whiff of impropriety – especially as this whirlwind of activity known as “Project Speed” is expected to happen so fast.

I’m not convinced – and I’m not alone. See:

Source: Coronavirus: Johnson sets out ‘ambitious’ economic recovery plan – BBC News

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Keir racism: Black Lives Matter isn’t a ‘moment’, mister


Keir Starmer just can’t help himself, can he?

Look at the arrogant racism in this statement:

He was telling us that, as far as he was concerned, Black Lives Matter was a photo opportunity and its time has now passed.

He doesn’t care about racism against black people or other ethnic minorities (and those of us wrapped up in Labour’s ongoing anti-semitism scandal should bear that in mind because it applies to Jews as much as anybody else).

He only cares about his approval ratings, and what will improve them in the “moment”.

But we’ve cottoned on to him:

Here’s a former Labour candidate in 2018’s local elections:

He’s not the only one to quit Labour either. Glance at the social media and you’ll see message after message from disillusioned members quitting the party – some of them after decades of support, sickened as Starmer turns it into a cesspit of right-wing factionalism and racism.

Perhaps this denouncement is the most damning:

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Here’s why it costs so much to fight a lawsuit brought by Rachel Riley

I’ve just had the monthly bill from my lawyer. It clears me out of everything that you have raised and leaves me owing a few hundred pounds – with the huge extra cost of a court hearing looming, possibly this month.

This is the reason Rachel Riley has made her application to strike out parts of my defence against her ludicrous accusation of libel, of course; she knows she doesn’t have much chance of success – but defending against it will cost me a huge amount of your money.

That’s why she keeps making these frankly vexatious demands on court time.

I’m sure she is also hoping that the disappointment of being constantly dragged back to square one will demoralise those of you who contribute to my CrowdJustice fund – put you off helping.

Indeed, one contributor, who donated quite a large amount of cash last month, also questioned why I am paying anything at all – suggesting that if my costs continue to rise I should rid myself of my current legal team and seek pro bono advocacy instead.

That would be a disaster, in my opinion.

You get what you pay for. One of my reasons for choosing the team I have is that I could not be sure of the quality of free legal advice; it would be better to have paid advocates who really know what they’re doing. That’s not to disparage good pro bono lawyers – but how many people can tell the good from the not-so-good?

Also, there is a particular attractiveness about this case, simply because it is crowdfunded. A win for my side will have a significant effect on civil justice in the United Kingdom – and a consequent boost to the reputation of the legal team involved. For that reason, we have been able to negotiate terms that are mutually satisfactory.

And of course it makes no sense at all to stop using my team, halfway through the case, and to try to instruct another in all its intricacies.

So I am left with the task of re-enthusing you, with the possibility that only a few weeks are left until a very expensive court hearing (remember that Ms Riley’s legal team has demanded that it should take place in July). Fortunately, I have a juicy announcement:

I will be making a counter-application to strike out a large part of Ms Riley’s case against me, during the forthcoming hearing.

I’m not at liberty to release the details but I can say that I expect my application to be granted without argument.

I have lodged my application with the court already – all I need now is the opportunity to have it granted at the hearing.

So I’m sure you know what’s coming next. Please…

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I know it’s a lot to ask. It always was. But the cause is just and the case can be won.

And the consequences for justice – if it isn’t – are dire. It would mean that rich people can buy justice, using the court system to take money from anybody poorer than them, simply for telling the truth.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Leicester’s local lockdown was triggered by Tory rush to reopen schools

Closed: Leicester has gone back into hard lockdown after the Tory decision to reopen schools gave it the highest Covid-19 spike in the UK.

What a silly gang of Tories!

Matt Hancock has had to humiliate himself – and his government – by admitting that the spike in Covid-19 cases that triggered a decision to put Leicester back in lockdown was a result of the Tory decision to reopen schools.

In their haste to get adults back to work by removing their need to stay at home and care for their children, the Tories have worsened the situation.

We should keep a close eye on Leicester’s death statistics, as any that happen as a result of this spike will be the responsibility of Boris Johnson, Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock and they should be punished for them.

Here’s a BBC report:

Stricter lockdown measures have been announced in Leicester because of a rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said non-essential shops will shut on Tuesday, and schools will close for most pupils on Thursday.

The loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants will also not be taking place in the city on Saturday.

Mr Hancock said Leicester accounted for “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week”.

He said the decision to close non-essential retail was based on clinical advice, and added that “children had been particularly impacted” by the local outbreak.

Five Leicester schools have closed since the beginning of June because of the number of coronavirus cases.

Let’s add some flesh to those bare bones:

The comment about the Labour Right refers to the fact that Keir Starmer has withdrawn any opposition to the reopening of schools in England after sacking former shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey. Boris Johnson’s joyful response was to threaten to fine anybody who withholds their children from school when term starts in September.

Of course the restoration of the lockdown has given humorists an opportunity to take some more shots at Dominic Cummings – and quite right too – so we’re seeing lots of this sort of thing, especially after Boris Johnson threatened to take action against people trying to leave Leicester by road:

https://twitter.com/cmpd_date/status/1277865604217810945

Can anyone deny the validity of this assertion?

It all boils down to this:

Source: Leicester lockdown tightened as coronavirus cases rise – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tory penalty fines for missing school next term may be illegal

Evidence: Coronavirus outbreaks in English schools have risen exponentially since the Tories ordered parents to send their children back.

Typical Tory bullying: “We’ll threaten people with a fine to force them to send their kids back to school, whether they’re likely to catch Covid-19 or not.

“Then they’ll have no excuse not to go back to work, even if there’s a huge chance they’ll catch the virus there.”

Here’s a fly for their ointment:

Every parent has a legal responsibility to keep their children from harm.

No fine imposed by the Tories will overrule that responsibility; it can’t. To do such a thing would be admitting they want parents to allow the government to harm their children.

That is implied by their threat, but admitting it out loud would be electoral suicide.

Now look at the graph (above). Since the Tories forced only some children in England to go back to school, Covid-19 infections there have risen exponentially, week-on-week.

That’s pretty strong evidence to support protecting children by keeping them away.

Parents in England who do not send their children back to school in September will face fines, says the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“Unless there’s a good reason for absence… we’d be imposing fines on families,” he said.

But head teachers said fining parents was not the “right approach” at first.

“There will be many frightened and anxious parents out there,” said Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union.

Head teachers, who decide whether absences are authorised, are more likely to want to build up parents’ trust in a safe return, said Mr Barton.

Source: Penalty fines for missing school next term – BBC News

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The biters bit: formal anti-semitism complaints are lodged against Starmer and his cronies

Sitting smug: racist anti-semite Keir Starmer probably thinks he can get away with accusing other people of his own crime because the Labour Party is hopelessly biased against attacking right-wing members for anti-semitism, the EHRC isn’t interested and the police think MPs are above the law. Is he right?

It’s good to see some people aren’t brainwashed by Keir Starmer’s misinterpretation of what constitutes anti-semitism.

Starmer, along with several cronies in the Parliamentary Labour Party, has falsely accused Rebecca Long-Bailey of tweeting a link to an article containing an anti-semitic conspiracy theory.

The problem is that, while the interview with Maxine Peake included a disputed claim that members of the Israeli police/military trained US police to use the choke hold that killed George Floyd, it is not anti-semitic to do so.

The claim relates only to the government of Israel, its police and its military – not to all Jews.

On the other hand, it is anti-semitic to confuse Israel, its government, police and military, with all Jews – as Starmer did.

The complaint referenced in the Prole Star article (link below) also accuses Ed Miliband, Margaret Hodge, Nia Griffith, Stella Creasy and Wes Streeting.

It has been lodged with both Labour and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Independently, the owner of the Skwawkbox blog has also lodged a complaint with the Labour Party.

This Writer doubts that any complaint against Labour will be given the time of day.

The party has apparently failed to take any action against the alleged racists among its officers who baited Diane Abbott, for example.

And the EHRC also seems a dead loss, if we are to judge it by its recent decisions.

Personally, I think the only way to explain the error of their ways to people who would cynically exploit the ignorance of others about anti-semitism, is a private prosecution under the Public Order Act 1986.

Nobody said the Jews were responsible for teaching the choke hold that killed George Floyd to US police – until Keir Starmer.

His words may be construed as incitement to racial hatred under the terms of the Act as it was he who put the idea into the public consciousness.

I don’t think the police or CPS will consider acting against a member of Parliament – even one belonging to the Labour Party – because it is (by now) well-established that MPs are above the law.

And a private prosecution will probably cost a lot of money.

Is anybody up for it?

Source: Formal Complaints Of Antisemitism Lodged Against Six Labour MPs

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Covid-19-related Universal Credit claimants will face sanctions for first time

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – brace yourself!

From June 30, you’ll be under threat of sanction if you can’t prove you’re actively seeking work.

The Tory government is reimposing the threat of sanctions as it lifts lockdown restrictions – because Boris Johnson and his cronies intend to use the stick to get us back at work rather than the carrot.

Many businesses laid off their workers rather than try to pay their contribution to the government’s furlough scheme, and former employees may be – justifiably – unsympathetic to the idea of going back to work for those treacherous employers.

Some of those businesses may decide to re-employ workers with less pay and worse conditions than prior to the crisis, claiming that they don’t have the wherewithal to make a better offer.

Without government sanctions to support them, it is likely that their former employees would give them the cold shoulder and wait for something better to come along.

I mean, who would want to go back to work at a Wetherspoons pub after the way that firm’s employees were treated?

But if it’s a choice between working there for a pittance or receiving nothing – because the government will refuse to pay Universal Credit to people who turn down the offer… you see how it works?

It all adds up to a very nasty betrayal of working people by a government that owes us all better.

Oh yes – don’t forget that the Coronavirus hasn’t gone away. In fact, if schools are any yardstick, the disease will go back to spreading exponentially among anybody who does go back to work.

This also appears to be part of the Tory plan – which never wavered from the ridiculous “herd immunity” fantasy of early March, it seems.

While other countries have used their lockdowns to eradicate Covid-19 from within their borders, the evidence suggests that the Tories only wanted to slow down its progress through England.

With the partial lifting of lockdown, we see that the Tories believe English hospitals will be able to cope with new cases – and with new deaths.

Bear in mind the words attributed to Dominic Cummings, which I seem to recall were: “If a few old people die, who cares?”

Your problem is that these people were voted into power with a massive majority and cannot be moved.

If they’re happy to kill you for the sake of a wild half-cocked theory, then you are going to die. Ask your Tory friends why they voted for that.

Sanctions on benefits will return on Tuesday after a three-month freeze, as lockdown easing sees job centres open.

In March, the government said people on benefits and Universal Credit would not be penalised for 90 days if they failed to look for work, due to coronavirus.

Labour has called for an extension to the ban, saying there is an “unemployment crisis looming”.

But Work and Pension Secretary Therese Coffey said the return of “claimant commitment” rules was “essential”.

You may find this comforting:

Good luck holding the Tories to that!

Source: Coronavirus: Benefit sanctions to return as job centres reopen – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tories refuses to abolish coronavirus law that has been wrongly used in every prosecution

When every single prosecution under new legislation is found to have been carried out unlawfully, that is poor law-making and should be repealed.

The Tory government is wasting the time of the police, the public and the courts with this silliness.

But it won’t repeal or change the Act of Parliament responsible for it.

Why not? Are these petty politicians taking delight in causing mischief for no good reason?

Who voted these clowns into a position where they could do this?

And do those voters now regret their hasty choice?

The government is refusing to repeal a “draconian” coronavirus law – despite it being used to wrongly prosecute scores of people.

The Coronavirus Act has not been used lawfully in a single criminal case since it came into force on 25 March, according to a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Human rights lawyers and campaigners have condemned the creation of “unnecessary” new offences, which have been used against children and vulnerable people.

They include a woman who was fined £660 for a crime she had not committed, five days after the Coronavirus Act became law. Charges have so far been withdrawn or overturned for 53 people and more cases are being reviewed.

Asked by The Independent whether it would abolish the Coronavirus Act in light of the changes and unlawful prosecutions, the Department of Health said it would not.

Source: Government refuses to abolish coronavirus law used unlawfully in every prosecution | The Independent

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The two faces of Ed Miliband are revealed by the Rebecca Long-Bailey row

Ed Miliband has claimed his boss Keir Starmer was right to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey – while also claiming the party isn’t purging itself of left-wingers.

The two claims are incompatible. Long-Bailey was the continuity left-wing candidate in the party’s recent leadership election and Starmer has used a flimsy excuse related to anti-Semitism to sack her.

Many other left-wingers are either being suspended for the same flimsy reason or have already been expelled (like This Writer) – but Miliband is insisting that there is no purge.

He has just incinerated any credibility he had left. Nobody should believe a word of it.

Look at this nonsense:

Miliband, the shadow business secretary and a former party leader, said Long-Bailey was a decent person and not antisemitic but that Starmer was right to sack her.

The reason the Maxine Peake interview was a problem “is not that it had a criticism of the state of Israel. I’m a big critic of what the Israeli government has done on a number of occasions. It was that it was a false criticism of the state of Israel, or rather the Israeli Defence Force, linked to the death of George Floyd, wrongly, saying that somehow tactics that killed George Floyd were linked to the Israelis,” Miliband told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

“The problem is that over the centuries when calamitous things have happened, Jews have been blamed. That’s why there’s an antisemitism issue in relation to this and that’s why I believe Keir took the right decision. I think she made a significant error of judgment.”

Notice the wording: “When calamitous things have happened, Jews have been blamed.” Not “Jews have been wrongly blamed”.

It would be anti-Semitic to blame Jews – in this case, Jewish people working for the Israeli police or military – for something they haven’t done.

But we know that police from many US states have been trained by the Israeli police and/or military. And we have photographic evidence of the Israeli police/military – well, see for yourself:

Choke hold: Israeli armed forces using the same ‘knee on neck’ technique that was used to kill George Floyd. But we’re being asked to believe Israel never taught that technique to US police and it is anti-Semitic to suggest that one country’s armed forces could teach such techniques to another’s police.

It is in the face of this evidence that the Israeli authorities – not the Jews – are claiming their forces don’t teach these methods to US police.

It is not a credible position, therefore neither is Miliband’s.

So his other claim – that left-wingers in the Labour Party aren’t being subjected to a purge – must also fall. He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

Allies of Ms Long-Bailey who have criticised her sacking – such as former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and ex-party chair Ian Lavery – would not be disciplined for doing so.

He dismissed concerns expressed by some on the left of the party that this was a prelude to a further distancing from the Jeremy Corbyn-era and that legitimate criticism of Israel would be frowned upon.

“I heard something… about how Keir wants to purge these people. He is not about purges. He wants to change the country by not having the Labour Party mired in issues which, frankly, provide a stain on us. Keir took very strong action [against Ms Long-Bailey] and now we need to move on and deal with the issues of anti-Semitism we face.”

This Writer doesn’t believe that for a moment.

By sacking Long-Bailey and forcing left-wingers to reconsider whether they have a future in the Labour Party, he has plunged Labour even deeper into the mire.

He has not proved that criticism of Israel over this issue is not legitimate. All the evidence suggests that it has a very strong factual basis but Starmer seems determined to put his hands over his ears, shut his eyes, shake his head and mutter, “No, no, no,” like a petulant schoolboy whenever anybody tries to point this out. I have no doubt that Miliband will do the same.

It is this attitude that worsens Labour’s position. In refusing to take serious issues seriously, the party makes a mockery of its own position on anti-Semitism; how can it take a firm stand on the issue if it can’t accept the difference between anti-Semitism and justified criticism of a foreign government?

Left-wingers – including many who have not yet been smeared with accusations of anti-Semitism that are based on Labour’s bizarre misinterpretation – are quitting the party in large numbers, or seriously considering it, because of this pig-headed idiocy.

If there is a stain on the party, it is on Starmer and – despite his own Jewish heritage – Miliband.

They could put a stop to it by admitting their fault, accepting that Israel does have a prima facie case to answer (even though we may never have accurate facts because it is in that government’s interests to lie if its forces have been providing the disputed training), and resetting their claims about anti-Semitism to fall in line with accepted definitions of it.

But they won’t. They simply aren’t mature enough.

Source: Ed Miliband: Starmer was right to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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