Category Archives: Death

Read this and weep:

Last Saturday, May 8, This Writer put out a request on This Site for supporters of Israel – the people who set out to justify the atrocities committed by the government of that country – to explain why armed Israeli forces had invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque and were shooting worshippers there with rubber bullets and letting off stun grenades on this holy ground.

I received very few responses from such people, which is uncharacteristic for people who usually cannot be prevented from spouting their propaganda as often and widely as possible.

The best any of them could manage was a bit of whataboutery – an attempt to say that it was reasonable because of Palestinian rocket attacks and why wasn’t I bothered about them?

am bothered about them; these screamers always miss the point that none of the violence between Israel and Palestine is acceptable.

There’s also this argument, made by a commenter on Twitter:

Furthermore, it is entirely disproportionate for Israel to use the rocket retaliations against the attack on Al Aqsa, and the forcible emptying of the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem, as a justification for this:

The result:

And what happened next?

Instead of apologising for murdering civilians, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he is escalating attacks on residential areas:

And he meant it:

The result:

It seems the weapons used on these residential areas of Palestine were manufactured in the United States, whose industrialists and government may be deemed to support the murder of civilians by their provision of weapons used to kill them.

It was during the attacks on Gaza that six-year-old Rahaf al Masry was killed by a US missile, aimed by a member of Israel’s armed forces. She was one of many…

… and this murder of children prompted Unicef to make an appeal for sanity – which fell on deaf ears.

The Israeli Defence force has attempted to justify these murders – but the statement would have been laughable if it had not been about the deliberate killing of children. As it is, I think the comment on the statement that I’m publishing here is remarkably restrained:

The only sentence in the IDF statement that strikes This Writer as in any way likely to be true is the last: “Our goal is only to strike terror.”

They’ve certainly done that. They’ve struck terror into the hearts of every Palestinian (yet again), and they have struck terror into everybody watching the development of this atrocity, who has a heart.

Condemnation has come thick and fast:

Those were mild words from Jeremy Corbyn who, despite the sustained and vicious accusations of anti-Semitism against him, continues to be the peacemaker. His hope here was forlorn.

The quote tweet from Haaretz refers to two Israeli deaths, caused by a Palestinian rocket that, it seems, got through Netanyahu’s “Iron Wall”. These deaths are just as deplorable as those of the many more Palestinians who have lost their lives. But who should take responsibility for them? Whoever let off the rocket, certainly. But what about the Israeli prime minister who provoked those people into doing it?

And when is the cycle of violence ever going to end?

Will it only end when Israel has used its overwhelming military superiority to destroy Palestine altogether – wipe its people off the face of the Earth – in the full view of the world and protesting that it is Israelis who are the victims all the way through?

Will it really have to go that far before the other nations of the world publicly acknowledge what is happening there and condemn it? Will they really wait until it is too late?

It seems so.

Look at Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Newsnight, pushing the Establishment line that the violence is all the fault of the Palestinians for all she was worth, and getting very short shrift from Palestine’s ambassador to the UK, Husam Zumlot. Labour MP Clive Lewis’s choice of words to quote is right on the button:

Yesterday, in the Queen’s Speech opening the new Parliamentary session, Boris Johnson’s government announced a plan to deny UK citizens the right to protest against Israeli atrocities via BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in what This Writer can only see as wholehearted support for the murder of Palestinian children:

The alternative, of course, is to be labelled anti-Semitic:

It’s a false accusation; Israel is not the Jewish people, nor has it ever been representative of them all. No doubt there are many Jews across the world who deplore the atrocities committed by the government of that country – including among those in Israel itself.

Taking that as true, then I agree with John Smith, son of the late Labour legend Harry Leslie Smith:

Sadly, if such people exist in Israel, their voices are being suppressed just as much as ours will be if Johnson pushes through his ban on BDS. Instead we are shown Israelis backing the violence – including, remember, the murder of children – to the hilt:

I dare say it is – because those people should be offended, not elated. So should people here in the UK.

Their government is perpetuating a cycle of violence that – as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out – it could end at a moment’s notice.

And our government is implying that we all support these killings by suppressing our ability to protest against them.

How will we ever find peace with monsters like these in charge?

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Deaths and other harms to benefit claimants prompt renewed lawsuits – and calls to investigate DWP

Death by DWP: Philippa Day.

The chickens are coming home to roost at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The families of three benefit claimants – who are said to have died because the DWP deliberately mishandled their claims – are continuing to take the department through the court system in their search for justice.

Publicity around the cases has led to a BBC investigation in which it was found that they are just three out of 150 cases in which the DWP has conducted internal investigations into its own behaviour.

Now the department is facing demands for an independent investigation into its conduct. Long overdue demands, in This Writer’s experienced opinion.

Here‘s the BBC:

Cases where people claiming benefits died or came to serious harm have led to more than 150 government reviews since 2012, a BBC investigation found.

Internal reviews are held by the DWP when it is alleged its actions had a negative impact, or when it is named at an inquest.

Calling for an inquiry, Labour MP Debbie Abrahams said: “It needs to be taken out of the hands of the DWP.”

Ms Abrahams, who previously read out in the Commons the names of 29 people who have died, said: “There needs to be an independent inquiry investigating why these deaths are happening and the scale of the deaths needs to be properly understood.”

The DWP said it had established a new Serious Case Panel in 2019 to consider themes identified from serious cases, which included independent members.

Yeah, right. I opened Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire the other day. That doesn’t mean I read any of it.

Now let’s hear from Leigh Day solicitors, who represent the three families who are pushing their cases through the courts:

The families spoke to the BBC to share their stories and the legal stages of their cases.

Philippa Day who lived with a long standing mental health illness, and was diabetic, died aged 27 in October 2019, two months after she was found collapsed at home in Nottingham.

On 27 January 2021, HM Assistant Coroner for Nottinghamshire, Gordon Clow concluded that the problems Philippa had with her application for disability benefits were “the predominant… and the only acute factor” which led her to take action on 8 August 2019 that ultimately proved fatal.

Following the inquest, a letter of claim has been sent to DWP and Capita which alleges breach of human rights and negligence by the DWP and Capita arising out of the events which led to Philippa’s death and seeks compensation for the wrongs Philippa and her family suffered. DWP and Capita have three months to respond before claims may be pursued in the High Court.

Death by DWP: Jodey Whiting.

Jodey Whiting, aged 42, took her own life on 21 February 2017. She suffered severe mental health problems and had her benefits terminated a fortnight earlier for not attending a Work Capability Assessment, leaving her with no source of income.

The Attorney General granted their consent last year for an application to the High Court for a fresh inquest into her death, which the High Court will hear on 22 June 2021. Jodey’s mother seeks a fresh inquest to ensure the role played by the DWP in her daughter’s death are publicly and fully investigated.

Death by DWP: Errol Graham.

Errol Graham, was found dead aged 57 in June 2018, eight months after his benefits were stopped because of his failure to attend a fit for work assessment. When his body was found, Mr Graham weighed four-and-a-half stone.

An inquest in 2019 found that DWP and NHS staff had missed opportunities to save Graham, and the coroner concluded that “the safety net that should surround vulnerable people like Errol in our society had holes within it”.

Mr Graham’s family have submitted an application to the Court of Appeal after their judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the DWP’s safeguarding policies was unsuccessful. The family argue that the decision in 2017 to terminate his benefits was unlawful and that the DWP’s safeguarding policies and systems need to be overhauled to provide greater protection to vulnerable benefit claimants who, like Errol, suffer from mental health conditions.

The allegations against the DWP are extremely serious.

They indicate that it has been DWP policy to endanger the lives of benefit claimants.

For that reason, it seems clear to This Writer – and I expect to anybody with the slightest common sense – that the DWP should not be judging its own work with regard to these cases.

I say that for the same reason I say Boris Johnson’s Conservatives should not be conducting inquiries into whether contracts were corruptly handed to Tory cronies – or into whether Johnson himself breached the ministerial code by getting donors to pay for his Downing Street flat’s redecoration.

They are liars; they will always whitewash themselves.

We have seen evidence of such behaviour many times over the last 10 years – reported on This Site, among others.

The work of Debbie Abrahams has been exemplary in trying to get an investigation into this scandal by an organisation we can trust.

It’s true that such efforts have achieved very little, so far.

But attitudes are changing.

As more evidence has come to light, public tolerance of the DWP’s entitled attitude has eroded.

Maybe we are finally about to get some factual answers to questions we have been asking for more than a decade.

Source: Investigation reveals 150 DWP reviews into deaths or harm to benefits claimants | Leigh Day

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Johnson accused: did he say ‘Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’?

Did he say it or didn’t he? We’ll find out whether Johnson really wanted the Covid-19-riddent bodies of ourselves, our relatives and our friends “piled high” soon enough, but in the meantime his current reputation tends to mitigate against him.

This is the kind of claim that can topple a government.

The fact that it was published by the Tory-backing Daily Mail makes it even more damaging to Boris Johnson and his regime.

Here’s what the Mail has said:

Boris Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown, it was claimed last night.

The explosive remark is said to have come after he reluctantly imposed the second lockdown, sources told the Mail.

Downing Street last night strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, insisting it was ‘just another lie’. But those who say they heard it stand by their claim.

“Those who say they heard it” suggests very strongly that this comes from multiple sources who will support each other’s stories. That alone could destroy Downing Street’s claim.

The allegation is that Johnson made his outburst last October, in response to a warning by Michael Gove that, if Johnson did not order a third lockdown, soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with victims of Covid-19.

This was before there was even one vaccine, remember, but after Covid-related infections and deaths had begun to multiply exponentially.

It was not until January 4 this year that Johnson gave in and ordered a third lockdown after all.

The claim is so incendiary because the first duty of any government is to protect the population of the nation it has been elected to represent.

If Johnson really said he would happily see the dead bodies of fellow UK citizens “piled high”, rather than ask his friends in business to suffer further disruption (that they would suffer in any case, once the virus took hold) then his words represent a betrayal of his most fundamental duty.

Don’t just take my word for it:

How will this affect public support for Johnson, as the story develops over the coming days and weeks?

Well, we’ll have local elections in a little over a week.

Let’s see what happens to the opinion polls – and to the vote itself.

Source: Covid UK: Boris Johnson said he’d rather ‘bodies pile high’ than have third lockdown, sources claim | Daily Mail Online

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Chauvin guilty of George Floyd murder – and what it means for people in the UK

Derek Chauvin: this image was taken from video footage of him choking George Floyd to death by kneeling on his throat for nine minutes.

A policeman from the United States has been found guilty of all charges related to the murder of African-American George Floyd.

Derek Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

He will remain in custody until he is sentenced and could spend decades in jail.

The death of Mr Floyd sparked an international wave of protest that resulted in multiple mass “Black Lives Matter” protests here in the United Kingdom and the toppling of statues celebrating slavers – like that of Edward Colston in Bristol.

But here’s the reason the verdict matters directly to people here in the UK:

Derek Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

The widely watched footage sparked worldwide protests against racism and excessive use of force by police.

If members of the public hadn’t taken video of Chauvin choking Mr Floyd to death, it is almost certain that Chauvin would have been able to avoid any charges at all; it would have been the word of a few black people against that of a police officer.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, a police union – the Metropolitan Police Federation – has been campaigning to prevent what it calls “trial by social media”.

These people mean the practice of posting video evidence of police misdeeds on Facebook and (particularly) Twitter.

I wrote about this less than a week ago. At that time, I quoted this tweet –

– and added:

“Two good points, don’t you think? For clarity, they are:

“1. If nobody had taken footage of George Floyd being throttled under the knee of a US police officer, nothing would have been done about it.

“2. It is hypocritical of the MetFed to complain about the sharing of images that shame the police when its own officers have shared images of them behaving inappropriately (to say the least) with the dead bodies of members of the public.

“If the police did not behave inappropriately; if they weren’t prone to violence against the public they are meant to protect; and if we didn’t have reason to believe the system was corruptly supporting them, then nobody would be recording these images – they simply would not happen.

“So, before these people demand what are frankly fascist measures to stop us from holding them to account – and remember, they can still record us (although I understand footage from cop cameras is likely to be restricted due to failings in policing by the officers involved) – it seems clear they should try cleaning up their act instead.

“But I suppose that would take all the fun out of it.”

Well, I reckon they’re going to have all the fun taken out of it now.

Because, after the Chauvin verdict, nobody will have the nerve to suggest banning footage of police brutality from the social media.

Source: George Floyd: Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of murder – BBC News

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A nation reacts to the death of the Duke – with dazzling hypocrisy

Prince Philip: whatever we may have thought of him, the hypocrisy with which his death is being handled is due to the government and the media.

Is anyone else absolutely sickened by the hypocrisy of the UK Establishment following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, or am I the only one?

I have already mentioned on Twitter the fact that Prince Philip, as (originally) a refugee who came to the UK from (originally) Greece, enjoyed an entirely different reception from other people who have came here from a foreign country under similar circumstances but with less impressive pedigrees.

I found it crushingly depressing that the nation was expected to stop everything to mourn the death of a man from such a background who had enjoyed extreme privilege, while at the same time the government was reopening a concentration camp for people whose stories aren’t significantly different from his.

Not only that, but I know I’m not the only one to notice that people have congregated in their thousands in central London to pay their respects – many of them disregarding social distancing rules completely…

… and the police have ignored it altogether.

Doubtless some of you will suggest that I shouldn’t be complaining; it’s better than having thousands of people clubbed over the head like seals, right?

But there’s a political message here: people mourning the passing of one of their “betters” is fine; protesting against the removal of their own rights will be met with blunt force.

Finally, isn’t it strange that all the TV channels and other mainstream media shut down all their programming in favour of solemn coverage of the passing of a man who had been the butt of ridicule for many years due to offensive comments he made, apparently without thinking.

These included telling European students in China, “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go slit-eyed.”

He allegedly insulted deaf children at a pop concert in Wales by saying, “No wonder you are deaf listening to this row.”

And when he and the Queen met Stephen Menary, an army cadet blinded by a Real IRA bomb, and the Queen enquired how much sight Mr Menary retained, he said: “Not a lot, judging by the tie he’s wearing.”

These and other incidents have been met with denials – either claims that they didn’t happen, that his intentions were misinterpreted, or that there was no harm done.

But it is hypocritical for the same media that published such reports – and criticism – to lead the solemnities at the time of his death.

It is hypocritical for the police to treat mourners who ignore social distancing rules differently from protesters.

And it is highly hypocritical for the Establishment to demand that we pay him the kind of respects we’ve seen, when people whose only difference from him is an accident of birth are being treated with no respect at all.

Source: Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace announces – BBC News

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Hypocrisy of UK MPs sanctioned for criticising China human rights abuses

Hypocrite: Iain Duncan Smith oversaw the deaths of thousands of unemployed, sick and disabled people who were victimised by his ‘reforms’ to the UK’s benefit system. How dare he criticise another country for doing the same to its people?

Shame on the Tory MPs who are whining because China has sanctioned them for highlighting that country’s abuses of the Uighurs!

Yes, you read that right. Shame on them, because they are hypocrites.

They seem to think it is perfectly reasonable to claim moral superiority over the government of another country for abusing its citizens’ human rights, while turning a blind eye to the fact that they are doing exactly the same to the people of the UK.

Tory MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Nusrat Ghani, Tim Loughton, Neil O’Brien and Tom Tugendhat all merrily voted in support of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will strip many of us of our human rights – and remove from all of us the right to protest in any meaningful way against further Tory atrocities against us.

Duncan Smith is well-known as an advocate of harm against his fellow UK citizens, having presided over the deaths of many thousands of benefit claimants – that occurred for no documented reason – under the cruel regime he imposed at the Department for Work and Pensions. But now he’s saying

Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice.

He was quite happy to deprive benefit claimants of their voices – and to look the other way when his policies deprived them of their lives. In their thousands, remember – not just one or two mistakes.

Attacking human rights abuses anywhere else in the world must be, for these people, an act of abominable hypocrisy.

Note also the typical reaction of the bully: these are people who sneered at us for protesting against the Police Bill and then went right ahead and voted to strip us of our rights – but when the shoe is on the other foot and they’re being singled out by China, suddenly they’re whining about how unfair it is.

Boris Johnson is, of course, the worst of the lot.

Despite being omitted from the list of UK MPs selected for sanction by China, he had the cheek to say

Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.

Fine words from the prime minister whose sickeningly draconian Police Bill strips his own people of that very freedom.

I do not wish to defend China. It’s treatment of the Uighurs is vile and should be opposed by all those of good faith. But these Tories are not opposing China in good faith. They’re trying to steal undeserved good publicity by attacking a country whose human rights abuses are – currently – worse than their own.

But it doesn’t work that way – or at least it shouldn’t.

Any attack on anybody’s rights as a human being is an attack against all of us – everywhere.

Johnson and his other little Tories might think they can take what moral high ground there is to be gained because their abuses aren’t quite as bad. But we know where that thinking leads.

The abuses become worse.

The number of people being oppressed grows.

The UK’s Tory government already fits every description of a fascist state that is worth reading. If you’re not feeling Johnson’s jackboot on your face yet, it’s just a matter of time.

So don’t waste any sympathy on these liars. They don’t deserve it.

Source: Uighurs: China bans UK MPs after abuse sanctions – BBC News

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‘Compassionate Conservatism’: Covid deaths to cut state pension costs, says BBC

This BBC story could explain much about the Corporation’s wholehearted support for Rishi Sunak, even though he’s utterly vile.

The Beeb presents as a good news story the deaths of so many over-65s that the cost of paying pensions is set to plummet by £1.5 billion by 2022.

And wait! because there’s even more Good News!

The government will also receive an extra £0.9bn from inheritance tax, partly due to Covid-related deaths.

Every cloud has a silver lining, eh? As in thirty pieces of silver, if you recognise the reference.

Here’s an interesting slip, though:

More than 144,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred in the UK since the start of the pandemic, figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show.

That’s 21,000 more than the official figure of 123,000 at the time of writing.

I think somebody’s been lying again – don’t you?

Source: Budget 2021: Covid deaths set to cut state pension costs – BBC News

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Ex-head of OFSTED says teachers should be prepared to lose lives to Covid. Haven’t they?

Sacrifice: Sir Michael Wilshaw looks like he’s forced more than a few people to fall on their swords.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, former head of schools inspection organisation Ofsted who was once dubbed its “Dirty Harry”, has come out as the latest ex-government employee to have sawdust between his ears.

Watch this if you’ve got the stomach for it:

Of course, teachers have already lost their lives. This fool doesn’t understand his subject – and that’s a terrible indictment against a school inspector.

And yes – as a commenter on the tweet stated – healthcare workers deserve better than to have their deaths described as some kind of worthy sacrifice.

But worst of all, this school inspector has belittled the commitment of teachers up and down the UK.

Teachers have gone to enormous lengths during the Covid-19 crisis.

Most particularly, they have done all the could to ensure the safety, both of school staff and pupils – which is more than has been managed by either Sir Wilshaw or the government he used to serve.

Source: Ex Head of OFSTED: Teachers should be prepared to give their lives… – Dorset Eye

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The Tories promised to reform benefits long ago so why do 10 terminally ill people die every day, waiting for their first payment?

Christine McCluskey: when she died, after your Tory government cut her benefits, she weighed just three stone.

The life expectancy of people with terminal illnesses has plummeted because they are being denied end-of-life state benefits.

The system is supposed to support people who are expected to live less than six months – but doesn’t.

The Tories demand that doctors provide a note predicting when their patient is likely to die.

But many physicians have been reluctant to make such predictions, or feared their patients’ health could deteriorate more rapidly if they learned they were not expected to survive very long.

The Tory government of the day promised to change the system in 2019, saying it would bring in modifications that would make it easier for people with terminal illnesses to claim their due.

And nothing has happened.

DWP minister Justin Tomlinson has apologised for the delay – which is a fat lot of good for people who could starve to death before their health condition kills them.

He blamed the delay on the Covid-19 crisis – and warned that it is likely to run on for many more months yet.

Let’s just remember what this means:

The image at the top of this article depicts Christine McCluskey, who died in a humiliating way, weighing just three stone, after Tomlinson’s department wrongly ended her benefit claim.

The 61-year-old grandmother had suffered long-term health problems most of her adult life including Crohn’s disease – which left her with a colostomy bag – osteoporosis, arthritis, a stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This housebound lady had a feeding tube and a painful fistula that leaked through her abdominal wall, she was severely malnourished and was being investigated for a worrying cough at the time the Department for Work and Pensions assessed her for Personal Independence Payment.

The decision: her payments of £117.85 per week were removed and her mobility car was taken away from her.

Weeks later she was diagnosed with terminal cancer but her payments were not restored. She died four months after her benefits were stopped, weighing just three stone.

She was unable to receive fast-track access to PIP that is available for people with terminal illnesses who have less than six months to live, because she was unable to show when she was likely to die.

Recent estimates obtained by Labour MP Jessica Morden have revealed that 7,260 people died as they were waiting for a verdict on their claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or 10 people per day.

Yes, these people were going to die soon anyway.

But the manner of their death tells us whether the United Kingdom under the Conservatives is a civilised country or primitive and barbaric.

And the UK under the Conservatives clearly falls into the latter category: primitive and barbaric.

Source: DWP shamed as 10 terminally ill people die every day waiting on a benefits decision | Welfare Journal

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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