Category Archives: Incompetence

Ignorant Johnson fails to apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: when she explained to Boris Johnson how his ill-chosen and false comments in 2017 affected her experience of jail in Iran, he affected shock – and refused to apologise.

Boris Johnson’s ignorance and hubris really do know no bounds.

Faced with first-hand information about the effect his personal stupidity had on a woman who had been falsely jailed in Iran, he affected shock – not that he had caused such harm, it seems, but that he was being criticised.

And he failed to apologise.

Johnson had been accused of lengthening her ordeal when, as foreign secretary in 2017, he wrongly claimed she had been training journalists at the time of her arrest in 2016.

Four days after Johnson’s damaging remarks as foreign secretary, she was summoned before an unscheduled court hearing, where his comments were cited as proof that she was engaged in “propaganda against the regime”.

The incident took place at a meeting between Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, together with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella, and Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Friday (May 13):

Mr Ratcliffe said his wife challenged the Prime Minister on “why did it take so long” to secure her release.

She also told him the “massive impact” his comments had on her, even saying the Iranian authorities brought Mr Johnson’s words up during interrogation shortly before her release.

Asked if the Prime Minister apologised, Mr Ratcliffe responded: “Not specifically.”

Nazanin’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, was also at the meeting:

“I was really proud of Nazanin. She was sitting next to the Prime Minister, and she told him very clearly and categorically that his words had had a big impact on her and that she had lived in the shadow of his words for the best part of four-and-a-half years,” Ms Siddiq said.

“I have to say the Prime Minister looked quite shocked, I think, when she said that, but I was really proud she did say that because… there was a time when the words had a big impact.”

Ms Siddiq [said] that her constituent “didn’t mince words” with the Prime Minister, saying his comments had “haunted her for four-and-a-half years”.

The family urged Johnson to give evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the Government’s handling of the case. He said he would look at it, which probably means no.

They also pressed him to help free the other Iranian dual nationals still being held in detention.

Nobody seemed to touch on the alleged reason Nazanin was freed – that the UK had paid more than £400 million owed to Iran for the failed sale of military equipment back in the 1970s.

If that was in fact the case, then Johnson will not be able to repeat it. This Writer fears that his answer to the second request will also, therefore, be no.

So ends another contemptible contribution to the failures of the UK’s worst-ever leadership failure.

Source: PM does not apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’ | The Independent

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How many blunders must Boris Johnson make before we can get shot of him?

Not a good sport: Boris Johnson’s last brush with football was when he tried to use the delayed Euro 2020 tournament – in which England reached the final – to distract everybody in the UK from his catastrophic failures to address the Covid-19 crisis properly.

When Boris Johnson said Ukraine should host the Euro 2028 football tournament, hours after the UK and Ireland had signalled their intent to jointly bid for it, that wasn’t a mistake or a result of bad briefing.

It was stupidity.

The same stupidity informed his claim that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was teaching journalism in Iran – that the authorities there used to keep her in prison for a five-year term, plus a further year on a separate offence.

He does it all the time – and we should blow the final whistle on it.

Source: AHEAD OF THE GAME: Boris Johnson’s gaffe adds to FA anger

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Russia-Ukraine: Vox Political proved right as Putin admits nuclear alert is due to Truss

Warmonger Liz: the foreign secretary has been rattling the sabre too loudly at Vladimir Putin when any conflict between the UK and Russia would be like sending this toy tank out to shoot down a nuclear missile.

I’m not saying Vladimir Putin reads Vox Political.

It is far more likely that Yr Obdt Srvt, looking at the available evidence, came to the correct conclusion about what was going on.

In an article yesterday, I stated that Putin’s decision to go to nuclear alert, said at the time to be because of “aggressive statements” by the West, was a serious demand for western nations to tone down their rhetoric, and the West has taken that seriously.

We should be hopeful, I continued, because it would stop Liz Truss from putting her foot in her mouth every time she opens it.

The Queen of Cheese’s latest boneheadedness has been to support calls for UK citizens to go to Ukraine – a move which, if it happened, would almost certainly be seen by Putin as the UK sending troops to that country (despite an official statement from her colleague, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, that this will not take place).

Unable to stop the flow of gibberish from her mouth, Truss claimed that anybody going to Ukraine would be fighting “for democracy”.

It’s exactly the kind of inflammatory talk that is likely to push Putin over the edge and endanger us all.

Here’s the confirmation that I was right:

So there you have it – direct from the Russian president’s mouth.

If UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had any sense, he would sack Truss – simply as a gesture to show that the UK does not want to provoke nuclear war.

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#DWP has been wrongly rejecting #benefit claims at a record rate

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

There are only a very small number of news stories about the benefit system as administered by the UK’s maliciously inept Department for Work and Pensions.

There’s the story about the DWP wrongly denying benefits to people (usually large numbers of them at a time).

There’s the one about loss of benefits (allegedly) leading to the death of a UK citizen (or indeed thousands, as I was able to force out of the department back in 2015).

There’s the one about the DWP promising to improve its performance so it gets its decisions right first time.

There’s the one about the appeal system either being unfit for purpose or finding in favour of huge numbers of claimants.

There’s the one about the costs of a system that aims to penalise people rather than pay them being far more than if everybody was just paid without question.

And there are mixtures of several or all of the above.

This story is a mixture.

It seems the DWP has been wrongly denying benefits to people, the appeal process has been demonstrating this at huge cost, and questions have been asked about why the department isn’t getting its decisions right, even after all these years:

The government is finding a record number of disability benefits claimants have been wrongly rejected by its own assessments as the cost of correcting these errors soars, new figures show.

Campaigners have pointed to “flaws in the system” that led to almost 80,000 Personal Independence Payment (Pip) decisions being overturned at initial review last year.

Meanwhile, separate figures show the cost of these reviews has surged by 26 per cent in the last two years, despite the fact that the number of reviews carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decreased by 23 per cent over the same period.

The rate at which these appeals have led to a decision being reversed has surged from 22 per cent (46,580 of 236,720) three years ago to 43 per cent (78,390 of 182,880) last year, according to data obtained via freedom of information (FOI) laws.

Separately, figures published by DWP minister Chloe Smith in response to a written parliamentary question show that the cost to taxpayers of mandatory considerations for Pip stood at £24.8m last year, compared with £19.7m in 2018/19 and £13.7m in 2016/17.

Of course the upshot of this is that the DWP is unreasonably harming people’s quality of life.

And this leads me to the final aspect of DWP stories that keeps getting repeated, which is the following:

The DWP is meant to harm claimants’ quality of life. That is the purpose of the benefit system, as far as your Tory government knows.

The ultimate intention is to be able to say that a benefit system is available, while paying out no benefits at all.

Yes, this is extremely harmful to claimants, as we have all seen over the last 12 years. Fatal, in many cases.

And there’s only one way to change it.

After so many years of being told the DWP will learn the lessons of its failures, we can only conclude that it is not learning anything at all – or that the lessons it is learning are about how to harm people in less visible ways.

This is not going to change under the Conservatives*. We need a change of government.

*And no, it won’t change under Labour or the Liberal Democrats either. Please don’t delude yourself with that fantasy for the sake of an easy life.

Source: DWP admits wrongly rejecting disabled people for benefits at record rate | The Independent

Truss tests positive for Covid-19. Good news for Ukraine; bad news for other Tories

Liz Truss: half a second after this image was captured, she coughed (no, not really).

Queen of Cheese Liz Truss has contracted Covid-19.

It means she will now be unable to visit Ukraine with Boris Johnson, halving the possibility of a major security leak and ensuring that her counterparts in the Ukrainian government won’t catch the disease – from her.

But her fellow Conservative MPs – including Boris Johnson, who is running away to eastern Europe (partly, I think, to get away from the wave of criticism, not just over Partygate but because he smeared Keir Starmer with a falsehood) may have reason to be disappointed in her.

Here is that reason:

This is what happens when you elect an incompetent prime minister who then surrounds himself with idiots in order to make unseating him unpalatable to the public.

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‘Mad Nad’ holes Johnson below the waterline – while defending him

Poetic justice: Nadine Dorries was (perhaps indirectly) attacking people with mental health conditions but now her own behaviour puts her on a worse level than the people she was DIRECTLY criticising [Image: The Prole Star.]

Presumably Nadine Dorries was trying to defend the prime minister who made her one of the unlikeliest Cabinet ministers of them all.

But it’s hard to tell, considering the content of these interviews.

First, she tried to tell us Johnson and his government have won the fight against Covid-19:

(If anybody won that battle it would be the NHS but with many thousands of new infections still happening every day, we’re a long way from that point at the time of writing.)

Then, she tried to defend Johnson’s indefensible repetition of the falsehood that Labour leader Keir Starmer refused to prosecute Jimmy Savile for child abuse (he didn’t have anything to do with the decision):

Dorries’s performance was so dire, it has already spawned a spoof:

Back in the day, ministers would have resigned in embarrassment – but that is now too much to hope.

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#RishiSunak writes off £4.3 billion that he gave to ‘Covid fraudsters’

I didn’t claim self employment support from the Tory government during the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis – and even in the light of the latest revelation, I’m convinced I was right to do so.

That’s because, even thought Rishi Sunak has admitted he won’t be able to collect £4.3 billion of the £5.8 billion he mistakenly (?) dished out to fraudulent claimants of self employment support and the furlough scheme, you can bet he would have been chasing me for a share of the £1.5 billion he thinks he can get back – even though I would have claimed it legitimately!

I’ve had too much experience of the Tory benefit system to get involved in that. I managed to survive by my own means.

But the failure to recoup the money that was claimed by fraud raises serious questions – like this one:

Well? Rishi Rich and his friends have managed to give our cash away to their buddies with all their other schemes – why not this one?

It would certainly fit with the pattern of behaviour we have seen from the Tory government.

And it raises questions about Sunak’s integrity…

And where’s the outrage from the mainstream media?

At the end of the day, it’s another £4.3 billion that Rishi Rich has spaffed up the wall without carrying out due diligence. By rights, he should be resigning from his job because he has wasted public money for no good reason.

He won’t, obviously. No integrity, remember?

What he might do is tell us we can’t have particular service anymore, or he’ll be reigning back on them so that, for example, people in the North can’t have the NHS care that people in the Southeast get – because “northerners are tougher than soft southerners, right? That’s what they’re always saying”.

Seriously, the justifications would probably be sillier than that.

I think we need to take a closer look at the books, here.

Why can’t Sunak get the money back? What’s stopping him? We need to know.

Because from here, it’s not looking like he is unable to recoup that cash.

It seems more likely that he simply doesn’t want to.

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#DowningStreetRefurbishment: #BorisJohnson’s excuse makes him either a liar or a fool

Lord Geidt: has he been fooled by Boris Johnson – twice? Or is it in fact Johnson who is the fool?

“I’ve changed my mobile phone” is fast becoming the Tory government version of “the dog ate my homework”, isn’t it?

What’s amazing is that Boris Johnson’s advisor on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt, has accepted this excuse for why Johnson did not provide important information to the inquiry on funding for Johnson’s Downing Street flat.

We all know the details now, don’t we? If not, just skip past the quoted parts that follow, taken from a previous Vox Political article, giving the story so far:

Johnson was accused last April of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for the renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation was that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 had been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement (at the time of the investigation last April) had appeared in July 2020, eight months previously.

If Johnson had received the money from other people, this created a potential conflict of interest but Geidt concluded very swiftly that Johnson did not breach the Ministerial Code and that no conflict, or reasonably perceived conflict, of interest arose.

He said that £52,000 had been contributed by Lord Brownlow, but via a blind trust, meaning Johnson seemed unaware that Brownlow had contributed his own money to it.

But the Electoral Commission had launched its own investigation – and this has just concluded that Johnson did approach Brownlow for cash, via WhatsApp – the government’s favoured method of avoiding scrutiny, back in November 2020.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

That was the situation on December 11. Now, Lord Geidt has published a WhatsApp exchange between Johnson and Brownlow, in which Brownlow said there would be no problem finding the cash for the flat refurbishment because he knew how it would be provided.

The intention had been for the money to come from a blind trust, but this did not happen and it was all provided by Brownlow instead.

So it seems incongruous to This Writer that Johnson claims not to know who provided the cash, having gone straight to Brownlow when he needed more.

Furthermore, his excuse that he had replaced his mobile phone and no longer had access to the WhatsApp exchange does not make sense, because his WhatsApp account would, logically, have been transferred to the new phone.

It is a simple process and one that This Writer feels sure Johnson would have carried out – if he didn’t want to lose all of his WhatsApp contacts and all of his chats. Is it the way the Electoral Commission gained access to the Brownlow chat?

Whatever the case, it seems clear that Johnson either lied to Lord Geidt by saying he couldn’t access the Brownlow chat when he could – or Johnson is an imbecile who can’t use a mobile phone properly.

In either case, he should not be the prime minister of the UK.

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‘Record’ #Covid19 infection rate is probably a fraction of the total because: no #tests available!

I’m all right, Jack: like Boris Johnson, This Writer has now had the Covid-19 vaccine booster injection. It won’t stop me catching the Omicron variant so I’m still wearing a mask out and conforming with all the safety procedures recommended here in Wales.

Official figures show a record 183,037 Covid-19 infections were recorded on December 29.

Sadly, that number is likely to be a fraction of the total because the Conservative government that spaffed £37 billion of public money on a privately-run test and trace scheme (that didn’t work) is still utterly unable to provide enough tests – either lateral flow or PCR – for those of us who need them.

The government’s response has been to provide “out of office” messages.

And Boris Johnson disappeared for more than a week. Asked where he had been, he said “Inside the country” – instantly indicating to all of us that he has been raving it up in some foreign holiday destination owned by one of his friends and gifted to him on the sly (again).

(This next one is just for fun.)

Oh but hey! Johnson also offered reassurance by saying nine-tenths of people in intensive care have not had the booster jab:

Official policy is to do nothing, despite the fact that official infections are three times what they were just two weeks ago.

It might be reasonable to say that, if the number of hospitalisations and deaths has significantly dropped.

But with even official infection rates rising exponentially, there will come a day on which hospitals will be overwhelmed again – especially because medical teams are being forced to stay away from work because they can’t get a test result.

Which day, do you reckon? New Year’s Day? New Year’s Eve?

Today?

All because a bunch of media hacks told us Jeremy Corbyn was a wrong ‘un after he told them how Boris Johnson was planning to kill the NHS.

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‘Have pride in the place you call home’ said Tory who didn’t know where he was

Bury? Burnley? B*gger: let’s pretend this is the moment someone explained to Sunak that he was in Bury, not Burnley, and he was smiling to hide his humiliation.

This man can’t even get his own location right. It does not bode well for his Budget.

Yes, Rishi Sunak took a trip up north to publicise his bright idea to pump investment into small projects there…

… and he cocked it up:

I guess the market can’t be all that famous if Sunak can’t even get its name right.

Come to that…

I guess Sunak can’t be all that clever if he can’t even work out where he is.

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