Category Archives: Cabinet

Nadhim Zahawi and tax: remember this

Nadhim Zahawi: waving the flag and (allegedly) fiddling the figures?

If you’re not familiar with the story, here it is.

This comment is well worth adding, though:

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Steve Barclay can wag his jaws all he wants but the Tories are still preparing the NHS for privatisation

The big takeout from this clip is around eight minutes in. I’ll copy it below:

“Not that it’s just underfunding that [the Conservatives in government] use to stop the NHS from functioning properly.

“They broke up the NHS into smaller, less efficient parts, unconnected parts; they’ve put people with private healthcare interests in charge of NHS budget decisions in the NHS trusts, they’ve allowed hospital buildings to fall into disrepair, they’ve systematically lowered people’s standard of living – making illness and injury more likely in the population to increase the burden on the health service, they’ve reduced the number of [staff] employed in the service; this collapse of the NHS isn’t sudden… it’s been happening for years.

“Before Covid we had at least two years’ of reports of patients being left in corridors – not always even on a trolley.”

At least three years, in fact. Here‘s an article from This Site in January 2017. Bear in mind, that is now six years ago.

“This has been going on for a very long time indeed, across five different Tory prime ministers, now.”

Additionally:

“To a Tory, ‘efficiency’ doesn’t mean what it does to you or I. It doesn’t mean ‘doing more with your resources’… it means having fewer resources. It means cutting the resources – and just hoping that the productivity stays the same.

“The Tory meaning of efficiency is always – always, 100 per cent of the time – job cuts.

“[Their angle] will be: ‘You can have better pay; we will pay you more – if that comes as a result of sharing out the salaries of staff leaving the service, and you do their work on top of your own. We don’t even try to recruit replacements. You do the extra work.

“That’s what it will mean.”

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Who erased Boris Johnson from image of him and Grant Shapps at Cornwall Spaceport?

I wasn’t sure about this at first:

… But then I found the proof on the BBC News website.

Here’s the pre-photoshop image:

And this is how it looked after somebody had it doctored:

And this on the day when he was trying to convince us all that his strike-restricting plans were necessary with a pack of lies, too.

BBC News says Shapps has insisted that he didn’t have the imaged changed:

A source close to Mr Shapps said: “Grant wasn’t aware anyone had edited the picture.

“He removed it as soon as it was pointed out. Obviously he wouldn’t endorse anyone rewriting history by removing the former PM from a picture.

“He was proud to serve in Boris Johnson’s government.”

That’s not exactly proof that Shapps isn’t lying about it – being proud to serve in a government headed by someone widely understood to have been the biggest liar Parliament has seen in many decades.

And the big question has gone unanswered: if Shapps didn’t change the image or have it changed, then who did?

Until we know the answer to that question, he’ll always be under suspicion.

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Why is the government telling an INDEPENDENT organisation what pay nurses should get?

Steve Barclay: sadly, none of the equipment behind him was able to jump-start his brain.

Remember before Christmas, when Tory spokespeople were all over the media telling us nurses couldn’t have the pay rise they were demanding because the “independent” pay review body had set the amount?

What do you make of this, then:

The Health Secretary has instructed the NHS pay review body to recommend a pay rise of around 2% for the 2023-2024 financial year.

So Steve Barclay has told the “independent” pay review body it can only recommend a tiny pay rise for nurses. That doesn’t seem independent to This Writer!

A recent letter from the secretary of state for health and social care Steve Barclay, to the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) suggests “it is particularly important that [the NHSPRB] have regard to the government’s inflation target when forming recommendations”.

Pay awards – most particularly when the government is doing the paying – don’t cause inflation.

Mr Barclay also warns “the NHS budget has already been set until 2024 to 2025”.

So any pay negotiation – of any kind, including that supposedly offered by the Pay Review Body – must be fake, then?

Obviously, two per cent is nowhere near enough when inflation is much higher; it’s a real-terms pay cut for nurses who are already £10,000 per year worse-off, in real terms, than they were in 2008.

The result will be more nurses leaving the NHS and a further decline in the service – which Barclay will claim is because public medicine can’t work as well as private, profiteering healthcare.

People will die because of this decision – and Barclay should be held responsible.

Barclay himself seems entirely unsuited to running any kind of organisation, let alone the largest one in the United Kingdom.

After a recent visit to a hospital, he tweeted how he marvelled at a fantastic innovation in healthcare that frees up many beds.

This innovation is called a chair. It has been used in the NHS for very nearly 75 years.

Here’s A Different Bias‘s account of this weirdness:

Steve Barclay is an idiot.

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Therese Coffey can’t be bothered to ensure her inquiry is independent

It’s not just the corruption, here – it’s the indifference.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is holding an inquiry into the deaths of crabs after raw sewage was pumped into their habitats by permission of the Tory government.

This is harmful not only to the environment but also to local industry, apparently.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey was challenged to provide assurances that the inquiry would be independent – and couldn’t be bothered.

It’s important because this is the result of a government decision and it is only natural to fear a whitewash if everybody on the inquiry is a government stooge.

But Coffey simply refused to care. She had appointed an adviser and they will deal with all the fiddling details; it’s nothing to do with her.

Way to wash your hands of the responsibility that goes with your job, Therese!

(Perhaps she had some karaoke she wanted to do instead.)

See for yourself:

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Suella Braverman shouldn’t play politics after telling others not to

After being asked whether the survivors of a recent Channel crossing disaster would be welcome in the UK because they came here from a “safe” country, Home Secretary Suella Braverman demanded that her colleagues should not play “politics” over such matters.

She then went on to do exactly that.

Braverman couldn’t say these people are not welcome because others have died – as a result of the fact that the UK has closed all safe routes to the UK in order to keep racists and bigots voting Tory.

Hear it for yourself:

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Five new accusations have been made against Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab: he remains Justice Secretary, despite the fact that the number of accusations against him has almost tripled.

Still he remains in post, though.

With five new accusations, the number of complaints against Dominic Raab – the Justice Secretary, has risen to eight.

He denies allegations of bullying and says he has behaved professionally throughout his time as a government minister.

The three complaints already under investigation related to his time as foreign secretary and Brexit secretary, as well as at the Ministry of Justice.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said the [five new] claims related to Mr Raab’s previous tenure as justice secretary.

Labour’s Keir Starmer has called for Raab’s status as a minister (and a Conservative MP?) to be suspended. That is, after all, what would happen to a Labour Party member.

Senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC is investigating all eight complaints against Raab. He will report to Rishi Sunak, who will make the final decision on whether Raab’s conduct breached the ministerial code and should be sacked.

But we know that Tory prime ministers may abuse this duty. Boris Johnson cleared Priti Patel, despite abundant evidence against her.

And Starmer has already said it was “a consequence of having a weak prime minister” that Raab continues to serve in government while complaints about his behaviour are investigated.

Let us hope that we are told all the information we need to make up our own minds, once judgement is passed.

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Did Michael Gove make wild ‘trade has tripled’ claim to counter this lunatic Brexiteer?

Michael Gove: lies, damned lies and FAKE statistics – to counter the nonsense claims of swivel-eyed Brexiteers like June Slater?

Michael Gove has been reprimanded by the UK Statistics Authority for claiming that the UK has signed trade deals with 70 foreign countries that have tripled the nation’s trading income – because it hasn’t happened.

We’ll come to an analysis of that shortly, but first… Why?

Did he do it to counter the even-more-wild-and-weird claims of so-called ‘Chief Gammon’ June Slater, a swivel-eyed harridan who haunts such reputable channels as GB News.

She said Rishi Sunak was a “mediocre socialist” who wants to reverse Brexit, among many other rants, as you can hear for yourself, courtesy of Maximilien Robespierre:

Next thing you know, Michael Gove crops up – presumably in his role as Minister for Intergovernmental Relations – to tell us that Brexit is going swimmingly and trade has improved massively, thanks to these trade deals with 70 countries that are bringing in £800 billion.

There’s one problem: there are no such deals and he seems to have made up the whole story.

Here’s Phil Moorhouse on A Different Bias:

So there you have it. There aren’t trade deals with 70 other countries and so they haven’t brought in £800bn since 2016.

In fact, trade has fallen since Brexit bit at the beginning of 2021. Brexit – so far – has been hugely harmful to the United Kingdom.

But neither Gove nor Sunak can say that with sharks like June Slater waiting to bite them. Can they?

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Another formal complaint about Dominic Raab is added to official investigation

Dominic Raab: This site once said there was nothing at all behind that vacant smile. Was this inaccurate? Was it hiding a bully?

A third formal complaint about bullying by Dominic Raab has been added to the official investigation, by request of prime minister Rishi Sunak.

It relates to Raab’s behaviour as Brexit secretary in 2018.

Raab denies the allegations and has said he’s looking forward to dealing with the complaints “transparently rather than dealing with anonymous comments in the media”.

But the BBC report of the latest development says the Ministry of Justice, which Raab is now heading, has been “inundated” with complaints of alleged bullying.

These are not being investigated, it seems, because they aren’t “formal” complaints.

Some – like Labour’s Angela Rayner – say restricting the investigation in this way is a “stitch up” that “will fool no one”.

There is an answer to that, which is for everybody who has made informal complaints to formalise them. If they’re worried about further bullying as a result of doing so, perhaps they could group together to form a ‘class action’-style complaint.

Obviously nothing has been proved yet.

But if the allegations are true, then isn’t it in the interests of justice to do everything possible to make sure they are proved?

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Raab and Williamson weren’t the only ones: multiple complaints emerge about bullying in government

Gavin Williamson: he resigned rather than allow bullying accusations against him to be investigated in full view of the public. Now Dominic Raab has also been accused. But how many other government ministers are also presiding over a ‘toxic work culture’?

Civil servants have made complaints about bullying by “several ministers” – not just Dominic Raab and Gavin Williamson – but the current system is not adequate to mount a proper investigation, it has been claimed.

Dave Penman, head of the FDA union that represents civil servants, said he had received multiple complaints about several ministers in Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government – but the “toxic work culture” can’t be adequately addressed by current procedures.

As he explains to Sky‘s Kay Burley, he has written to Sunak, calling for reforms to allow proper investigation of complaints against ministers:

As you can tell from the clip, Mr Penman was not interested in bandying around gossip about particular individuals, saying – rightly – that any complaints should be substantiated before they are publicised.

But the allegation is there: bullying is apparently prevalent in not just one or two but several government departments.

After failures by previous prime ministers – notably Boris Johnson, who defended Priti Patel in the face of the evidence – there isn’t even an independent investigator in place.

Sunak will need to be seen to act quickly on this matter.

But will he? Or is this yet another episode in which he’ll prove himself to be weak?

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