Category Archives: Conference

NOT ‘safe to be me’: Tory betrayal of trans people triggers collapse of LGBT+ event

Two-fingered salute: Boris Johnson has voiced opposition to conversion therapy on multiple occasions, but actions speak louder than words and the gesture in the image above seems more indicative of his actual attitude to LGBT+ people

The UK’s Tory government has humiliatingly been forced to cancel an international conference of LGBT+ people in a row over its support for conversion therapy.

According to Wikipedia, “Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual or their gender identity from transgender to cisgender using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions.

“There is no reliable evidence that such practices can alter sexual orientation or gender identity, and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy is ineffective and potentially harmful.”

The government had promised to outlaw conversion therapy in any form – but u-turned last week, saying any ban would only apply to attempts to alter a person’s sexuality, not attempts to try to change people’s gender identity.

So it seems the Tories are happy to expose trans people to potential harm.

It’s probably no wonder, then, that more than 100 LGBT+ organisations have responded by walking out of the Tories’ big, flagship, headline-grabbing international conference for, among all the other groups, trans people.

The killing blow was dealt to the event on Tuesday (April 5, 2022) when Iain Anderson, the Tory government’s first LGBT+ business champion, resigned. His unpaid role was specially-created for the lead-up to the conference, and was expected to last 18 months.

He would have been expected to showcase what UK businesses have done in reducing workplace discrimination and promoting quality for LGBT+ people at the conference – a tricky job in the light of the government’s new policy.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, who has allowed (demanded?) the u-turn to happen, he stated: “Trust and belief in the government’s overall commitment to LGBT+ rights has been damaged.

“I believe a comprehensive plan to support LGBT+ people to play their full part in our society is urgently needed.”

Johnson himself has previously called the practice of conversion therapy “repulsive and abhorrent” and had promised plans to outlaw it on a number of separate occasions. Has he been lying again?

A government spokesperson has responded with a statement that it would carry out “separate work” on the issue of transgender conversion therapy but it was keen for any legislation not to have “unintended consequences”, adding it was a “legally complex area”.

Oh yes – “unintended consequences”. We know that’s something that the government has always tried to avoid! (Hint: it never has.)

A Conservative MP, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: “Having failed to deliver for the LGBT community at home, we will now fail to deliver for LGBT communities around the world. What a record.”

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry posted on Twitter: “For three years, I urged the Government to use the opportunity they had as co-chair of the (intergovernmental) Equal Rights Coalition to take a global lead on LGBTQ+ issues.

“For three years, they did nothing except talk up their ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference. And now where are we? What a sickening waste.”

Consortium, the umbrella body for LGBT+ voluntary and community organisations, said: “The implications of the international LGBT conference being cancelled are solely at the doorstep of Number 10.

“LGBT+ organisations were left with no choice but to withdraw any support in order to stand in solidarity and partnership with our trans communities.”

So there you have it. The Tories’ own prejudices have humiliated them. This is a terrific example of people power laying the mighty low. We may all learn from this.

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Ukraine: Johnson’s conference comparison is doubly hypocritical because of his Russian links

Duper’s delight again: either Boris Johnson is a hypocrite, praising Ukraine but supporting Russia – or he was deceiving his party faithful by saying he wants Ukraine to suffer a disaster at least as great as the effect of Brexit on UK citizens.

Yes, it was disgusting when Boris Johnson got on his hind legs at the Conservative Spring Conference and said Ukraine was like the referendum decision for the UK to leave the EU:

Ukraine is trying to join the European Union. Somebody needs to tell Johnson that before he sticks his size-13s in his mouth again.

Former European Council president Donald Tusk said the words “offend Ukrainians, the British and common sense”.

Even some Conservatives had the sense to condemn Johnson’s ill-chosen words:

Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood said Mr Johnson’s comparison “damages the standard of statecraft” being exhibited in the response to the invasion.

The comment was hugely hypocritical because Brexit has been a disaster for a majority of UK citizens; we have to deal with increased bureaucracy and higher prices as a result of the trade barriers that Johnson raised.

And just ask the people of Ireland (Northern and the Republic) how they feel about the NI Protocol.

But it’s worse than that!

Johnson is doubly hypocritical because he talks about supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom but acts in support of Russia.

It has just been revealed that – on the night Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine – Johnson attended a fundraising event with a Russian donor to the Conservative Party who has connections with the Russian president.

He was joined by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and communities secretary Michael Gove, and all guests reportedly enjoyed expensive wine, food and an auction.

Labour chairwoman Annaliese Dodds branded Johnson a “threat to national security” – and she’s right. Who knows what our loose-lipped prime minister might have said?

Who knows whether he still talks to Putin-supporting Russians now and what he says if he does?

Then he stands in front of his party faithful and praises Ukraine’s struggle for freedom by comparing it with the worst disaster to be deliberately inflicted on the UK in more than 80 years.

Hmm. Perhaps he’s not such a hypocrite after all – if he’s really saying he wants Ukraine to sink as fast as the UK has after Brexit.

Source: Boris Johnson compares Ukraine to Brits ‘wanting to be free’ by choosing Brexit in conference speech | ITV News

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Tory spring conference opens floodgates for satire

It seems Boris Johnson’s only success at the Conservative spring conference was as the butt of a series of satirical comments.

He enraged people by comparing Ukraine’s battle for freedom with the vote in which 17 million people dragged the rest of the UK’s 68 million population into Brexit. Doesn’t work, does it?

Some of us got our own back by posting images on the social media – and they’re worth seeing.

Besides the pic above, here are a few more.

If you’ve spotted any, please send them in.

This one isn’t connected to the conference but is too good not to publish:

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Johnson’s green credibility is blown; he flew back to London for meal WITH CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER

Not the Garrick Club dinner: you can bet Boris Johnson wasn’t drinking water (if that’s really what it was in this pic) at the booze-up with climate denier Lord Moore on Tuesday.

So much for all that nonsense Number 10 was spouting about Boris Johnson’s plane being super-green and its carbon footprint being negated.

It turns out he couldn’t catch a train back to London from COP26 because he was going to a meal with a climate change denier and wanted to get there on time.

Downing Street also said “time constraints” prevented Johnson from travelling by train – and this is clearly more true than all that crap about the environment.

According to the Mirror, Johnson left COP26 at 6.20pm on Tuesday, arriving at London Stansted at 7.16pm.

The train journey would have taken four and a half hours – meaning he would have been very late for the flash dinner reunion for Daily Telegraph journalists, including former editor Lord Charles Moore, who once said the climate crisis was “speculation”.

So there you have it.

After falling asleep at the major meeting to stop climate armageddon – maskless, thereby polluting the atmosphere around national treasure David Attenborough…

He took a plane – the more polluting option, no matter what Downing Street says (have those carbon-offsetting trees been planted yet?)…

And spent the evening at a slap-up meal in the Garrick Club with a self-confessed climate denier.

What a hypocritical puff of hot air.

Source: Boris Johnson took private jet from Cop26 to dine with climate sceptic at members’ club | The Independent

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#COP26 turns out to be the copOUT we all expected

David Attenborough at COP26: at 95, he knows he doesn’t have much time left – and he’ll die in despair for the future of the world if COP26 turns out to be just another gust of hot air.

This Writer opened Twitter today to be met by this from the acceptable face of Countdown femininity:

I bet she’s been monitoring the progress of COP26 – or lack of it.

Here’s the problem:

Sadly, it was the governments controlled by the corporates who were on display at COP26 – with predictable results:

Leading the parade of meaningless speeches was the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson, a personality vacuum who could do most good for the planet by sucking all the harmful CO2 emissions into the gaping hole where his soul should be.

Yes indeed. Here he is sleeping without a mask next to David Attenborough, thereby endangering the life of a national treasure.

Here he is gassing about James Bond for no good reason:

Here’s that car crash interview. Spot the sideways look when he realises he is being challenged and nobody is going to help him out:

Oh! So tackling climate change is a matter for local planning authorities, is it? Then why did all those world leaders create so many more greenhouse gas emissions by flying and driving to Glasgow so they could drink all that Scottish booze and wag their chins at each other?

As for taking a plane back to London, Downing Street has claimed that he needs to be mobile in order to be where he needs to be at all times, that the plane uses a mixture of 35 per cent renewable fuel and 65 per cent regular (meaning it’s greener) and that the remaining carbon footprint is offset in other ways.

But this is just one flight among many. How many forests are being planted by the government in order to offset them all?

The whole farcical performance is summed up sharply in the following video (but don’t watch it if you’re offended by harsh language):

Tan isn’t the only one saying it, either:

Of course you won’t hear that on the BBC or ITV:

But it was noticed:

If they were all so great at cutting CO2 emissions – the greenhouse gas mostly responsible for the Earth’s increasing atmospheric temperature that is threatening us all – then COP26 would not have been called.

US President Joe Biden turned out to be another weapons-grade hypocrite (as I suggested yesterday). Look at how he turned up to a conference on reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

(Mind you, he wasn’t the only one who turned up to a conference about saving the environment in a gas guzzling mechanical monster. Hypocrites all…)

And his speech was just as bad:

Here’s a very quick answer to him:

Exactly. If there was a “market-based solution” to the climate crisis, it would have been implemented long ago and there would have been no need for a summit.

The most sense was spoken by someone who wasn’t even invited…

… despite having been a strong voice for reason for several years now. I mean, of course, Greta Thunberg:

“My expectation is that we will hear many, many nice speeches, we will hear many pledges that – if you really look into the details – are more or less meaningless but they just say them in order to have something to say, in order for media to have something to report about, and then I expect things to continue to remain the same.

“The COPs as they are now will not lead to anything unless there is big, massive pressure from the outside.”

Wise words – especially when coupled with the big announcement about saving the world’s forests, and the reaction to it.

And check out this dialogue between Labour’s Clive Lewis and Tory Zac Goldsmith on the relative responsibilities of the haves and have-nots:

Goldsmith was trying to dodge responsibility for the problem, on behalf of his rich buddies – but Lewis is right: the poor can’t give up something they don’t consume.

There were good speeches – but they were made by people with absolutely no power.

David Attenborough’s was a barnstormer…

… but he was speaking to a hostile audience. Look at those faces. They really couldn’t care less.

Maori activist India Logan-Riley also made strong points, having been asked to speak at the last minute:

“In the US and Canada alone Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one quarter of annual emissions. What we do works.”

Logan-Riley was not overstating the actions of Indigenous people in fighting for the environment. A recent report by Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Oil Change International (OCI) found that an amount of greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual US and Canadian emissions had been stopped or delayed due to Indigenous-led resistance to 21 fossil fuel projects in the two countries over the last decade.

The report found that about 1.587 billion metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions have been halted. That is the equivalent pollution of approximately 345 million passenger vehicles — more than all vehicles on the road in these countries, or 400 new coal-fired power plants — more than are still operating in the United States and Canada.

Needless to say, she doesn’t have any political power at all.

All in all, COP26 has turned out to be exactly the copOUT we all feared.

This Writer is left in agreement with Tom London:

They are in control – because we stupidly allowed it.

And they will make us suffer.

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#COP26 : How are these polluting politicians going to tackle climate change? With weapons-grade HYPOCRISY?

If you’re doubting the sincerity of the world leaders who are meeting to talk – and I stress, talk – about fighting climate change and the destruction of our eco-system at COP26, you’re not the only one:

It’s true, isn’t it?

These leaders – certainly Boris Johnson and his crony Alok Sharma who is hosting the conference – did their level best to keep the coppers rolling in for their big business funders during the (ongoing, let’s not forget) Covid-19 crisis – at the cost of our lives.

They scheduled two hugely important summits back-to-back – in cities thousands of miles apart. And they are travelling between those places in hugely-polluting aircraft and enormous gas-guzzling motorcades.

They are likely to put the onus to take action against climate change on the majority of the population, even though the 1% – the billionaires – who fund them are responsible for as much of the damage as a full half of the 99% – the rest of the population.

They are likely to ignore the fact that the 99% have no choice when it comes to climate change. We have to use the facilities provided to us by the 1% who control them, and if those facilities are provided using resources that trigger climate change, we can’t do anything about it.

And they are likely to blame us when nothing changes.

Meanwhile, they are unlikely to impose strong demands on the 1% that will actually stave off our impending eco-doom. Such demands would require their funders – remember, the businesspeople causing the problem pay money to the politicians – to forgo some of their massive profits in order to restructure their enterprises to cause less pollution.

And that might mean they couldn’t build their own – hugely polluting – spaceships!

Knowing all this, if This Writer were you, I would take everything these people say at COP(OUT)26 with a massive spoonful of salt.

And remind yourself that nothing is ever going to change when we are led by people of such weapons-grade hypocrisy.

Right-wing sabre-rattlers will only worsen UK-EU fishing rights crisis

It seems this prediction may have been all-too-accurate:

Sure enough, the UK and France are at loggerheads – over fishing rights, of all things. And it seems the UK is at fault.

Under the Brexit agreement, the EU and UK have agreed they will give fishing licences to boats if they can show they have fished in each others’ waters for years.

But the UK has rejected applications from French fishing businesses, quibbling over the amount of evidence that is needed. It is suggested that only around 40 boats are affected, who had either not taken part in a monitoring survey, or were replacement vessels for firms that had fished in UK waters with their previous boats.

It seems to This Writer that this is a classic case of “computer says no”; because these French applications did not tick all the boxes required by an automated system, they were automatically disqualifed. All that is really needed is for a human being to consider the circumstances. Sadly, it seems the UK government no longer has human beings working for it.

France has threatened to retaliate with sanctions described as “targeted measures”, if the row is not resolved by Tuesday. These may include blocking ports to UK boats, increasing checks on UK goods, boats and trucks, and cutting energy supplies.

(That is possible because a previous UK Conservative government privatised our energy suppliers, passing more than a third of them into the ownership of foreign governments, including that of France. French firm EDF controls 10.3 per cent of UK energy.)

The BBC has aggravated the row by publicising a letter by French Prime Minister Jean Castex, saying that the EU needed to demonstrate that there was “more damage to leaving the EU than remaining there”. Shouldn’t our public service broadcaster be impartial?

Of course the right-wing and racist flag-wavers have taken the opportunity to whip up anti-French feeling, banging the tribalist drum in the hope that nobody will bother to check whether the UK’s Tory government might actually be in the wrong (because it is).

,,, With limited success:

If France does take action unilaterally, the UK may have reason to escalate the matter – on a claim that our friends across the Channel have broken international law.

But…

Remember when the UK’s Tory government was threatening to break international law with its Internal Market Bill, that would have unilaterally rewritten the Northern Ireland Protocol? Boris Johnson would not have the moral high ground here.

Worse than “looking like total nobheads”, though, is the isolation in which the UK is viewed by practically every other nation in the world.

Boris Johnson’s government is not trusted at all and France, together with the EU, would be justified in doubting the sincerity of a national government that reneges on its treaties whenever its ministers find it expedient:

In this context, let’s turn to COP26, the imminent summit on climate change, taking place in Glasgow. Why should any nation stick to an agreement struck by Boris Johnson’s untrustworthy government?

If they don’t, though – or if he fails to achieve one because of his innate untrustworthiness, then the world burns.

Climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg has already condemned world leaders for spouting a load of “blah, blah, blah” and achieving nothing. Johnson may prove her right.

We should all hope that common sense will prevail.

But with Boris Johnson involved, if that does happen it will be the first time.

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Ask a silly question, BBC, like ‘has Boris Johnson got what it takes?’ and you’ll get this

Big fat hypocrite: remember when Boris Johnson took a plane from London to Cornwall for the G7 summit, talking about creating a “greener” world after causing five times as much pollution as if he had just taken the train?

We’re already calling this year’s big climate change summit COPOUT 26 – and with good reason, what with it being hosted by the UK under Boris Johnson.

Nobody expects the worst British leader since King John to negotiate any deal worth having.

So when the BBC asked whether he had what it takes to achieve it, the answers were – well, see for yourself:

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Footballers are now the opposition to the Tories: Gary Neville destroys Edwina Currie on TV

Notably absent from this year’s Conservative conference has been any opposition to it from the Labour Party. Keir Starmer has abdicated his responsibility.

Into the breach steps former footballer Gary Neville. He – along with others of his profession like Marcus Rashford – has become the de facto opposition to Tory tyranny, in the absence of Starmer and his cronies.

It was Neville who responded to the cancellation of the £20 Universal Credit “uplift”, plunging millions of people into poverty and insecurity at a time of hugely-rising costs.

Tory grandee and food poisoning expert (ha ha!) Edwina Currie told ITV’s Good Morning Britain:

“What we have to realise is that we have got something like a million vacancies advertised in this country. We have record numbers of vacancies. We have whole industries desperate for people to come in from catering, to the care industry. Businesses are desperate and pushing up wages so it doesn’t make any sense to pay people to stay home.”

When presenter Susanna Reid pointed out that 40% on Universal Credit are already in work, the former health minister said: “We are taking about very large numbers of people not in a job.

“We need to train people to make better choices about how they live and how they spend their money. There are 30 million people out there who I would tell ‘the best benefit is a job’.

“It is wrong for us to pay people to stay at home when the economy needs people to get into work and we need to get people into better jobs and we need to push employers to pay their workforce better.”

Here’s Neville’s response:

He’s absolutely right. But he should not have had to say it.

Source: Gary Neville destroys Edwina Currie and Tory policy on Good Morning Britain – Wales Online

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State not responsible for health care says Javid – lining up NHS for full privatisation?

Covid Javid: he was happy to whip off his mask (in a secure environment) but his words and his deeds as Health and Social Care Secretary mark him out as a danger to public health.

I know his nasal whine is irritating but try to get through the following clip of Sajid Javid’s speech to the Tory conference so you can understand what he’s saying.

I think Alex Andreou has it pretty much right:

Family first, then community, then the state? What?

So, with Covid-19 (for example), by Javid’s lights, we should all have sought a remedy from our families? That would have achieved nothing apart from their infection.

Having failed there, were we then supposed to go to the community – other people’s families – and infect them too?

By the time we got round to asking the state – as demanded by Javid in his speech to the Tory conference – many of us would already have been dead.

What a puerile claim from our supposed Health and Social Care Secretary! No wonder 1,000 people are dying every week while he mouths these platitudes.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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