Category Archives: Charity

Hapless Conservative chairman donates ‘Partygate souvenir’ to charity

Perhaps it’s right that the Conservative Party should have a hapless fool like Oliver Dowden as its chairman – he reflects the state of the organisation he runs.

Dowden’s latest blunder is his donation of a bottle of champagne signed by Boris Johnson to a Hertfordshire charity, for inclusion in a fundraising auction.

That organisation cannily listed the item as follows [boldings mine]: “A bottle of champagne signed by Boris. Hugely valuable as a souvenir of partygate and the examplary behaviour and morality of our dear leader!”

See for yourself:

A spokesperson for Dowden said, “this item was donated in good faith several months ago” and “this is obviously not his view” after the auction leaflet was shared on Twitter.

Of course it doesn’t matter if the bottle was donated several months ago – the Covid-19 lockdown-busting Downing Street parties had been taking place under the prime minister’s nose since April or May 2020.

Whether Dowden knew about it at the time he passed on the bottle is more debatable. But we have video evidence of Allegra Stratton laughing and joking about a party that took place on December 18, 2020 (and for which 50 people have just been fined), that was taken four days later.

If Dowden didn’t know about this, then he’s clearly unfit to do his job, and nor was his immediate forerunner, Amanda Milling, if she did not have that information to pass on to him.

Then there’s the question of Dowden’s reaction to the way the lot was accepted by the charity:

Probably more damning still is this observation:

So we have a Tory chairman who should have known about the Partygate allegations at the time, donating a bottle of champagne signed by Boris Johnson that he should have known – or should have been advised – could cause embarrassment to his party and government, to a charity that greeted the donation with hilarity (indicating that this happened after the scandal became public knowledge); he apparently did nothing to counter that response at the time.

And now he’s complaining about the way it has been marketed in a fundraising auction.

This man is too stupid for words.

If the Tory leadership – Johnson – had any teeth, Dowden would be heading for the backbenches with his tail between his legs, there to stay for the rest of what we should expect to be a mercifully short career.

But it is a sign of the weakness of Johnson’s team that this embarrassment to the name of Conservatism will probably go unpunished in any way.

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Nadine Dorries appoints new charity regulator – the wrong way

Nadine Dorries: wrong again.

If you heard a job had become available because a candidate had failed, went for it, and then found you weren’t considered because the bosses couldn’t be bothered to do it all again, wouldn’t you be upset?

If so, you can understand why the House of Commons Culture committee refused to endorse Nadine Dorries’s decision to make Orlando Fraser the new chair of the Charity Commission.

Mr Fraser was only appointed because Dorries’s original choice – Martin Thomas, who was reported to be a long-time friend of Boris Johnson – resigned after just a week in the job over allegations of inappropriate behaviour in a previous post.

She simply went back to her shortlist and appointed the candidate who was next on the list – to the disgust of the Culture committee:

Withholding its approval for Mr Fraser’s appointment, the cross-party Culture Committee said in its report that Ms Dorries should have initiated an entirely new selection process at that point, rather than picking another candidate from the existing shortlist.

The “slapdash” failure to rerun the process raised “serious concerns” about the selection process and the lack of diversity in the shortlist, the committee said.

The controversy has cast a shadow over Mr Fraser’s tenure, before he even started in the job.

No matter what he does now, he will always be considered a second-best choice who only get the role because a government minister couldn’t be bothered to do her job properly.

Source: Nadine Dorries appoints new charity regulator in face of objections from parliamentary committee

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New whistleblower says Boris Johnson put animals before humans in Afghanistan evacuation

Josie Stewart – a senior official at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – has said it was “widespread knowledge” that the decision to help the Nowzad charity evacuate cats and dogs from Afghanistan “came from the prime minister”.

She said emails in her inbox referred to “the PM’s decision on Nowzad”.

This supports claims made in two Foreign Office emails that were released to the public in January.

As I wrote back then:

“One lobbies for the rescue of a second animal charity because Johnson had agreed to evacuate Nowzad: “The PM has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated.”

“The second, between FO officials, states: “In light of the PM’s decision earlier today [August 25, 2021] to evacuate the staff of the Nowzad animal charity, the [other animal charity – name redacted] is asking for agreement to the entry of [details redacted] staff, all Afghan nationals.”

“The issue is controversial because human beings were left behind. Some have since travelled out of Afghanistan and tried to gain entry into the country.

“Damningly for the UK’s Tory government, some have died in the attempt.”

Ms Stewart accused Sir Philip Barton, the Foreign Office’s permanent undersecretary, and Nigel Casey, the PM’s special representative for Afghanistan, of having “intentionally lied” to MPs on the foreign affairs select committee.

Appearing before the committee on January 25, Casey was asked if he knew whether the PM had intervened “in the evacuation of Nowzad staff or animals” and replied: “Not to my knowledge.”

In  written evidence to the committee, published the next day, Sir Philip denied that Mr Casey had received “any correspondence referring to the prime minister’s intervention in the Nowzad case”.

This was contradicted in leaked emails published by the committee subsequently.

Sir Philip had to write back to the committee, apologising for misleading its members.

But he insisted that he had no memory of the emails, and nor did Casey.

Johnson has denied direct involvement in the evacuation of animals.

But the email evidence suggests that, indeed, he ordered it – and then lied to the media afterwards, when it was suggested that he had prioritised animals over human beings.

Ms Stewart also dismissed government claims that civil servants often portrayed decisions as coming from the PM if they did not, saying, “Governance would fall apart entirely if this were the case.”

She said: “I feel a strong sense of moral injury for having been part of something so badly managed and so focused on managing reputational risk and political fallout rather than the actual crisis and associated human tragedy.”

Ms Stewart said the messages about the animal evacuation decision were coming from the PM on Microsoft Teams, and “heard it discussed in the crisis centre including by senior civil servants”.

She also said she was copied on numerous emails “which clearly suggested this” which no-one, including Mr Casey, challenged.

Ms Stewart said she did not believe there was any deliberate decision “to prioritise animals over people” but that “the decision to approve Nowzad’s Afghan staff under LOTR (leave outside the rules) was not in line with policy”.

The whistleblower said “there was no reason to believe these people should be prioritised under the agreed criteria”.

The Foreign Office has claimed that “at all times officials have responded to the committee’s questions in good faith, on the basis of the evidence available to us at the time”, which is not quite a rejection of the evidence.

There is plenty of evidence to question that protestation of good faith.

Source: Boris Johnson ordered evacuation of animals from Afghanistan, says new whistleblower | The Independent

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#ForeignOffice admits it was wrong to deny #BorisJohnson authorised Afghan animal evacuation

The Foreign Office has admitted misleading MPs over whether Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of Pen Farthings dog rescue charity Nowzad from Afghanistan last year.

But you won’t realise that from looking at the BBC report!

Foreign Office boss admits error over Afghan animal evacuation reads as though Johnson had nothing to do with it.

And you have to read a long way into the story to discover that Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, was saying that he had not seen emails sent within his department, indicating that Boris Johnson did indeed authorise the evacuation.

If he did, then he lied about it to the media afterwards, when it was suggested that he had prioritised animals over human beings.

People the UK abandoned in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over have since tried to reach this country via the refugee route – crossing the Channel – and this has led to at least one death.

Appearing before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Nigel Casey was asked if he knew whether the PM had intervened “in the evacuation of Nowzad staff or animals” and replied: “Not to my knowledge.”

In  written evidence to the committee, published on Wednesday, Sir Philip denied that Mr Casey had received “any correspondence referring to the prime minister’s intervention in the Nowzad case”.

This was contradicted in leaked emails published by the committee subsequently.

And BBC Newsnight’s Sima Kotecha has seen two emails with the subject heading “Pen Farthing and dogs”, showing the Foreign Office and Mr Casey sought guidance from No 10 over the issue.

So now Sir Philip has had to write back to the committee, apologising for misleading its members.

But he stuck to the part of the story covering his involvement:

“As Nigel said to the committee on [Tuesday] he has no recollection of having seen emails in which staff attributed this decision to the prime minister. Nor do I.”

Downing Street is saying that the decision may have been interpreted as coming from Johnson when that was not the case – but it has provided no evidence to support this claim.

So Labour’s Chris Bryant, a member of the committee, is well within his rights to say (as he did on BBC Breakfast News): “All I want to know is who made the decision?”

We all want to know that, Chris. At the moment it seems clear that Johnson has lied again and our civil servants are disgracing themselves in their haste to cover up for him.

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RNLI donations INCREASE in the face of negative comments by racists

Everything before the ‘but’ is meaningless: Nigel Farage has been foiled in his attack on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, as has some far-right kid on Twitter.

Congratulations to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has enjoyed a massive increase in donations after racists in the media criticised it for rescuing refugees.

Don’t believe the BBC’s coverage, that claimed the £200,000 it received in donations in 24 hours (it usually gets £7K in that period) was because it posted “rescue footage” on social media.

This was a reaction against loudmouths like Nigel Farage (are you happy now your Brexit has emptied our supermarket shelves, Nigel?) who said on far-right propaganda purveyor GB News that the lifeboats were now a “migrant taxi service”.

And it was a reaction against swivel-eyed boy-fascist Darren Grimes, who was schooled by Julia Hartley-Brewer, of all people, over his daft claims about the legendary life-saving organisation:

“I find lifeboat charity RNLI’s rescue missions in the Channel to be deeply irresponsible,” tweeted the callow youth.

“If you’re sure that getting into an unseaworthy vessel will see you carried across the Channel by trained professionals, why wouldn’t you?”

Even Hartley-Doodah thought this was too much – and corrected him like the errant child he is: “No, Darren, the RNLI are there to save lives – of anyone and everyone in need. It doesn’t matter who they are or why they are there.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and call these negative comments by Farage and Grimes out as racism.

They would rather see people – of colour – escaping violence and persecution in their home countries drown than give them a moment’s safe haven in a safe country. That screams “racism” to me and it is an attitude of which anybody should be ashamed.

I mean all the rest of us as well – we shame ourselves that these attitudes are even tolerated in the UK, let alone putting them on our media in an attempt to whip up support.

Thank goodness it backfired. It turned out to be one of the rare occasions when right-wing aggression leads to a positive outcome.

The Farages and Grimeses of this country have been foiled and the RNLI is much better-off as a result of their ignorant interference.

What a great result!

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Tom Moore and David Clapson: outrageous disparity in the way Tories treat veterans

Found on Facebook:

“Incredible how differently Britain treats its veterans, depending on their circumstances,” says the caption.

No, it isn’t really incredible at all. It’s more Tory divisiveness. The difference here is that the difference between the two subjects is so marked.

Captain Sir Tom Moore was “one of us”. He had been living, retired, in relative comfort – a former Army officer who, seeing the plight of the National Health Service after years of Tory underfunding and the dismantling of its equipment to fight pandemic infections, literally stepped in to do his bit, raising £33 million in funds by walking laps of his back garden.

(And what happened to that cash, by the way? Did it pay for vital treatment or was it frittered away on crony contracts for Conservative chums?)

Former Lance Corporal David Clapson was “one of them”. After serving as a member of the Royal Signal Corps for two years in Belfast at the height of the “Troubles” in the 1970s and then spending 16 years working for BT, he gave up his career to become a carer, looking after his mother.

After she became too ill to stay at home, he started looking for work and claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance – making him a scrounger from the state in the eyes of the Department for Work and Pensions, run at the time by Tory Iain Duncan Smith.

So when he missed an appointment with a Job Centre advisor, the DWP axed his benefit, leaving him with no means of support.

He died soon after – not of starvation, but of diabetic ketoacidosis. Mr Clapson, who suffered from diabetes, had been unable to afford the electricity needed to keep his fridge working, meaning that he could not keep his insulin at the required temperature, rendering it unusable.

When his body was found, his assets totalled £3.44, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. He had no food in his stomach at all.

Captain Sir Tom Moore was lionised as a hero. Lance Corporal David Clapson was treated like scum.

In terms of character, they seem to have been very much the same. Both obviously cared very much about the well-being of others and did what they could to help.

The only difference seems to be that the former, being “one of us”, was given every opportunity to make the impact he wanted, while the latter, being “one of them”, was denied even the means of survival.

It’s the Tory way. If you’re “one of us”, you get the best. If you’re “one of them”, you get nothing. Which are you?

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Jacob Rees Mogg attacks Unicef for feeding the children he has forced to starvation

Jacob Rees-Mogg, making a gesture that well defines him. He’s currently all upset that the failings of his Tory government have prompted Unicef to come to the UK and feed our starving children. It’s a job that the Tory government should have done but couldn’t be bothered to.

Where to start with the latest atrocity from this atrocious Tory?

Yesterday we learned that UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund that provides humanitarian and developmental aid to children across the world, is having to help feed hungry kids in the UK for the first time since it was formed in 1946.

The non-political UN charity is providing £25,000 to two charities – Food School Matters and Food Power – who will partner with Premier Foods and local authorities to help provide breakfast boxes to 1,800 children in south London.

It seems clear that this move has been prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the weak response of Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

UNICEF UK spokesperson Anna Kettley told Sky News, “This is an unprecedented situation which requires everyone to roll their sleeves up, step in and support children and families that need it most at this time.”

This is happening because Johnson’s government told millions of parents they had to stop working because of the virus. In doing so, the Tories took responsibility for the well-being of those families – and threw it away.

Instead of ensuring that parents were fully compensated for their lost wages, Rishi Sunak devised a series of schemes that provided only a fraction of what was needed – to only a fraction of the people who needed them.

Now, at what is traditionally the hardest part of the year for many people, the UN’s children’s charity has had to announce that it is stepping in to help.

And how did the Tories greet this timely aid – which will help them as well as the families who will benefit directly, by preventing a human disaster driven by poverty in the world’s fifth-wealthiest country?

Jacob Rees-Mogg condemned it as a political stunt.

He said,

“It’s a real scandal that Unicef should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest and most deprived countries in the world, where people are starving, where there are famines and there are civil wars – and they make cheap political points of this kind, giving, I think, £25,000 to one council.

“It is a political stunt of the lowest order.”

He added: “Unicef should be ashamed of itself.”

Perhaps I should spend the rest of this article discussing the ingratitude of spoilt little rich boys.

Rees-Mogg has never suffered poverty and does not understand what it is like to be forced into starvation by the actions of others who have power over him. It is unlikely he ever will.

It does not follow that this means he cannot understand the responsibility of those who have power over other people to ensure that they do not harm those others in the exercise of that power. Other rich people have understood this necessity and acted on it.

It just seems that Rees-Mogg – and many others in the Johnson government – aren’t bright enough to understand that they do have a duty of care for people if they’re going to deny them the chance to earn a living for themselves.

This failure of intelligence has extended to the point that they cannot even understand – or at least, that’s what their behaviour suggests – that by stepping in, Unicef is helping the Tories out of a hole that they dug for themselves.

If children were to starve to death over this Christmas period, Rees-Mogg and his brethren would be blamed. And the public may be notoriously fickle but they don’t forget when a politician’s choices kill their families.

So he should be grateful.

Perhaps he just doesn’t like that fact that, rich as he is personally, he needed help from a charity.

Source: Jacob Rees Mogg says Unicef should be ‘ashamed’ for feeding Britain’s hungry kids – Mirror Online

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Free speech under attack: McVey attacks Barnardo’s over ‘white privilege’

Mad McVey: she looks like a pop-eyed loon in this image, and she’s been behaving like one in her attack on a beloved children’s charity.

Remember Esther McVile McVey? She was the poster girl for Tory bigotry before Priti Patel and she is still carrying out her vile work.

McVey has returned to headline news with an attack on Barnardo’s – one that could harm the organisation’s position as a charity.

She has said that a blog post by Barnardo’s, which aims to offer a guide to parents on how to talk to their children about racial inequality and white privilege in the UK, is “political”.

Charities are forbidden to campaign on political issues and could lose their status if found to be doing so.

But is it political campaigning when an organisation raises awareness of racism and the fact – fact – that in the UK white people have advantages that other ethnic groups don’t have?

Or is McVile distorting the facts in order to perpetuate the very racism the charity is highlighting?

In an opinion piece unwisely published by the Telegraph, she claimed that Barnardo’s could be “hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views”.

She said it would jeopardise Barnardo’s fundraising efforts it if it becomes “yet another charity more obsessed with political correctness and virtue signalling than actually helping people in need”.

That is a threat.

And what did Barnardos say, to provoke it?

The blog post states: “For the one in five Barnardo’s service users who are black, Asian or minority ethnic, the colour of their skin is an additional factor that negatively affects them and their families in a multitude of well documented ways.”

The article referenced well evidenced examples of white privilege, including higher employment rates, lower rates of prosecution and sentencing and a longer life expectancy for white people, with black African women having a mortality rate four times higher than white women in the UK.

The blog post states that being white doesn’t mean life is not hard, but it means it is not made harder because of your race.

“Helping children and those who nurture them, to understand what white privilege really means will not only prevent future generations from growing up to ignore race as an issue – but to be actively anti-racist through their actions.”

That all seems perfectly reasonable to This Writer.

But McVile went off the deep end:

McVey said while she will always be “grateful” to Barnardo’s, she was “deeply troubled” by its decision to “divert its attention to political activism”.

She continued: “This is such a misguided and misjudged move away from what the charity is about and what it ought to be doing.

“Barnardo’s is too important a charity to be hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views.”

On Friday, a group of 12 Conservative MPs reportedly wrote a letter to Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, to express their “concern and disappointment” over the post.

According to The Guardian, the MPs described the post as “ideological dogma” and “divisive militancy”. They also asked for it to be investigated by the Charity Commission.

So there it is – a threat against Barnardo’s charity status, simply because the charity spoke up about racial inequality.

Perhaps the 12 Tory MPs should be reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Ah, but the EHRC has already refused to investigate Tory racism, hasn’t it? Isn’t that an example of white privilege, right there?

It seems the UK’s governing party is employing that classic DARVO gaslighting technique – deny, attack, reverse victim and oppressor. By claiming Barnardo’s has become political, the Tories are hiding their own racism.

Source: Former minister criticises charity for ‘activism’ and discussing white privilege | The Independent

‘Voting irregularities’ at the MP of the Year awards? What’s going on?

Jeremy Corbyn: he had been nominated to win the MP of the Year Award – but then his Labour membership was suspended. Chris Williamson was disqualified as a candidate for the award last year after his membership was suspended. Are these awards being ‘managed’ to deny recognition to popular left-wing candidates?

The MP of the Year Awards have apparently fallen into trouble yet again.

The award scheme, run by the Patchwork Foundation, has been under a shadow since Chris Williamson was disqualified last year – because his Labour Party membership had been suspended.

At the time, the organisation stated: “Our MP of the Year Awards seek to celebrate and recognise those MPs that uphold the ethos and values of the Foundation; to champion underrepresented, minority or disadvantaged communities in the UK.

“MPs under investigation or suspension would not be included. As such, Chris Williamson’s nomination could not be taken forward this year, as he is currently suspended from the Labour Party.”

This year, Jeremy Corbyn was nominated and – wonder of wonders! – his Labour Party membership has been suspended.

So – wonder of wonders! – suddenly the Patchwork Foundation is apparently saying there are “irregularities in the voting count” and it will only release the choice of the judges’ panel instead.

I think James Foster may have drawn the correct conclusion:

He’s not the only one:

This Site has contacted Patchwork for a comment.

If there is interference in the public vote – to remove the most popular candidate because he is considered undesirable in some way, and for a second year running – then these awards have fallen into disrepute and should be discontinued.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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No u-turn on free school meals, says Brandon Lewis – kids will have to survive on charity

Brandon Lewis: this is an old image so the facts about his houses may be out of date.

If you think we’ve reached peak Tory cruelty, allow me to point out at the outset that we haven’t.

It may seem that way, with Boris Johnson and his government passing cash hand-over-fist to their Tory chums while ordering that children stricken with a poverty that they have created must starve, but believe me – it is possible for these soulless monsters to do much worse.

On the subject of soulless monsters, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis made an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today to make it clear that, no matter how much abuse they receive, Tory MPs have absolutely no intention of reversing their decision to deny free school meals to kids who need them over the half-term and Christmas holidays.

He claimed that the Tory government has already put huge amounts of money aside for this purpose but the claim does not correspond with reality; he was just plucking numbers from his rear end.

Marr told him businesses were stepping up and Lewis signified his approval. But we have an answer to that :

The Tory response to the charity from local businesses was to claim that these firms clearly do not need government support during the Covid crisis and should not apply for it; a clear indicator that they intend to punish anybody in a position to stop poor children from starving:

The Tory MP highlighted in the article, Selaine Saxby (North Devon), has since claimed that she was misrepresented…

… but it is hard to see how “I am delighted our local businesses have bounced back so much after lockdown they are able to give away food for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further government support” can be interpreted any other way.

Ms Saxby was elected last December with a massive majority of 14,813 votes – that’s 14,813 more than her nearest rival, 26.6 per cent of the total. She took 56.5 per cent of the vote altogether.

This means the people of North Devon voted by an overall majority to support a Conservative who endorses policies that put children in poverty, and votes to starve them once they are there.

I know This Site has readers from that constituency who are sickened by their MP’s choices. Public voting habits being what they are, it will be up to these people to force their peers to see what they have supported – possibly by finding local examples of children who are going hungry as a result of this cruel Tory policy? – and make them face their responsibility for it.

Meanwhile the backlash against the Tories continues:

Davies is the MP for Grantham and Stamford. People living there: you know what to do.

If you have made a similar infographic – or have seen one – please send it in so I can publish it here.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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