Category Archives: Politics

Johnson tries to take credit for Crossrail – but he won’t railroad us

Lying Boris Johnson has been caught being dishonest again – this time about the new Elizabeth Line in London, formerly known as Crossrail.

In Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (May 18), Johnson attacked his opponents in the Labour Party, saying:

“It was fantastic to see Her Majesty the Queen open Crossrail yesterday…Who was the Mayor of London when Crossrail was first started to be built, and who was the Prime Minister who completed it?

“We get the big things done. And that’s why there’s never been a Labour government who’s left office with unemployment lower than when they began.”

He was being extremely economical with the truth, as usual.

Crossrail was approved under a Labour government in 2007. Work did indeed start on it around a year into Johnson’s first term as London Mayor, in 2009 – but that was still under a Labour government.

And Westminster Labour councillor David Boothroyd had something to say about that. He tweeted: “The Mayor of London who got the Crossrail scheme going was [Labour’s] Ken Livingstone.

“The Mayor of London who forgot about Crossrail and led it into delay was Boris Johnson. The Mayor of London who got Crossrail delivered was Sadiq Khan.”

It is true that the central stretch was due to open in 2018 but was delayed, and costs soared from a predicted £14.8 billion to nearly £19 billion.

A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan was more diplomatic: “Crossrail got the green light under the previous government and first started to be built back in 2009. Since then the project has been supported by successive governments, Mayors and businesses in our city, with over two-thirds of the budget coming from London government and London’s businesses.

“The completion of the Elizabeth Line shows the benefit of politicians working together and taking long-term decisions when it comes to crucial infrastructure projects that will have a positive impact across the whole country for many decades to come.”

Johnson made a blatant factual error when he said the new rail line had already delivered 72,000 jobs. In fact, it will be able to transport 72,000 people per hour.

Possibly worse than all of the above is the fact that Johnson was trying to use the new Elizabeth line to justify, in some way, the huge costs his government has forced onto ordinary people – pricing a dialysis user, in his own words, “out of existence“.

In fairness, he had requested details of the case but it was not reasonable to make a bald – and false – claim about the economy and the Elizabeth Line.

It demonstrates what a despicable opportunist Johnson is.

Source: Elizabeth line: Boris Johnson mocked for claiming credit for Crossrail despite law passing under Labour

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Tory MP Lee Anderson has been talking rubbish – and expecting us to eat it

Lee Anderson (right) with his leader Boris Johnson: Anderson was talking rubbish (as his boss often does) – and expecting the rest of us to eat it, too – according to an expert chef

After Tory MP Lee Anderson claimed it was possible to cook “nutritious meals” for 30p, professional chef Gareth Mason tried it.

The chef, who has 19 years’ experience, set himself the task of cooking seven basic meals that fit within the 30p budget.

Mr Mason made crab stick salad, burgers, spaghetti Napoli, beans on toast, a jacket potato with beans, and a ‘spam fritter’ made from cheap luncheon meat.

His verdict? They were not nutritionally balanced or big enough to sustain an adult:

“I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a load of rubbish,” the head chef at Absolute Bistros in Westhoughton, Lancashire told HullLive.

“These meals I’ve done, as soon as you put any protein or dairy into them, it’s not feasible to do it for 30p.

“If you eat beans on toast for every meal, it might work, but even if you did cheese on toast, the cost of cheese would be more than 30p on its own.

“And you have the cooking cost on top of the cost of the food.”

That last point is right on the nose.

At a time when the cost of the energy needed to cook is rocketing, this overprivileged MP didn’t even have the intelligence to include it in his claim.

And Mr Mason had another thought about Lee Anderson’s disproved theory:

Gareth said while Mr Anderson’s 30p figure may be achievable using batch cooking methods in a professional kitchen, there aren’t many people who have the space or storage required to make it work.

“Has this guy ever eaten a 30p meal in his life? I doubt it,” Gareth asked.

“He’s contradicted himself by having chefs cook the food in a big kitchen with an industrial oven.

“Where does he expect the average person to cook all this food and then freeze it all?”

Where indeed? And freezers don’t work for free.

“You could just about feed yourself, but it’s not going to be healthy or nutritious or get anywhere near the number of calories an average adult needs to function each day,” he said.

“He’s treating people like peasants. Energy prices are going up, people are struggling, the cost of living is on the rise, and what’s their solution? Eat for 30p?

“The cheaper you go, how much rubbish is in the food?

“It will be full of additives and preservatives and all sorts of junk. It’s not fresh, nutritious food that people need to have a healthy diet.”

So there you have it. Lee Anderson’s claims have been definitively disproved.

Remember that, next time a filthy rich Tory MP makes wild claims about what can be achieved with very little, when they’ve never had to face the same restrictions.

Source: Chef says Tory MP is ‘treating people like peasants’ after cooking 30p meals

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Priti Patel is refusing to pay police enough to do their job & then demanding power to criticise them for it

Here’s the contradictory nature of Tory policy exposed in all its grubby grimness:

Priti Patel has been challenged to explain whether she could “survive” on the salaries she pays to local police officers – and ran away from answering.

Meanwhile, she is demanding the right to interfere in local policing matters – possibly criticising officers for failing to do work she does not pay them enough to manage.

According to Nation.Cymru,

Detective Constable Vicky Knight, a single mother who had worked in policing for more than two decades, asked Priti Patel if she would be able to “survive” on £1,200 or £1,400 a month.

Describing how she is paid “a couple of hundred pounds a month more than the workers in McDonald’s flipping burgers” and less than her “local manager at Lidl”, Ms Knight told how ahead of her most recent pay day she had to borrow £40 from her mother so she could put fuel in her car and buy food for her son’s school lunches “because I had no money left at the end of the month”.

“I went to see an accountant and the advice was leave the police, work for 22 hours a week and claim benefits and you will be better off. How can that be right?”

Patel did not answer the question; we don’t know whether she thinks she could survive on the pay she tells police officers to accept.

But we do know delegates at the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales groaned when she whined that their organisation had not been “at the table” for pay negotiations; it is currently in dispute with her because she has imposed a pay freeze for officers and there were, therefore, no negotiations to be done.

While she is depriving police of the salaries they need in order to be able to do their jobs, it seems Patel is demanding the right to criticise them for any failures.

In a row with Police and Crime Commissioners, she is planning a unilateral revision of rules that define where policing responsibilities lie, in order to grant herself more power to interfere in local services.

She wants to take back power to demand answers from chief constables on local policing matters – and ability that was given to commissioners a decade ago when their role was created.

Obviously the ability to demand answers also provides an implied ability to criticise police services for failings – even though any failures may be because she has not provided the resources to do the job.

According to The Guardian,

The proposed protocol says: “We propose to lower the threshold for home secretary intervention in appropriate circumstances. This would equip the home secretary to intervene earlier as required, thus reducing the risk of failing to deliver effective policing.”

Apparently this is a reflection of a policy adopted by Patel since she became Home Secretary, called “lean in”. Perhaps it would more accurately be phrased as “lean on“.

Another example of this policy would appear to be her demand that chief constables act “in a politically neutral manner”, which has been added to the previous stricture that they must be impartial.

This would restrict them from commenting on public policy that they believe may affect crime fighting – such as the effects of austerity. Nor would they be allowed to speak out publicly on issues of political dispute like tougher sentences or opposing the decriminalisation of cannabis, which is supported by some frontline politicians.

In their response to Patel’s proposals, commissioners said she would need to seek an Act of Parliament to impose them as they are beyond her statutory powers at the moment – “ultra vires”:

“Creation of new powers of strategic oversight can only be achieved through primary legislation and must be subject to the full scrutiny that is required of primary legislation.”

So we see a hardline Home Secretary, attempting to dictate the behaviour of local police forces while denying them the resources to their job.

How ironic that she is currently being restricted with rules imposed by her own Tory forerunners.

Source: Home Secretary confronted by ‘desperately struggling’ North Wales Constable over low pay

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ANOTHER Conservative MP has been arrested for sex crimes

Police have arrested yet another Conservative MP for sex crimes.

The Tory Parliamentarian, who has not been named, had his collar felt by the long arm of the law after an investigation lasting no fewer than two years.

As a result, he now stands accused of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office – all between 2002 and 2009.

The latter two accusations suggest that this is someone who may have used his position as a member of Parliament in order to commit the crimes.

The arrest follows the resignation of another Tory MP, Neil Parish, after he admitted having watched pornography in the Commons chamber.

And that came after yet another Conservative MP, Imran Ahmad Khan, resigned after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. His victim said that he had alerted the Conservative Party before Khan had been elected – but his warnings had fallen on deaf ears.

Prior to that, three cabinet ministers were among 56 MPs said to have been accused of sexual misconduct and referred to Parliamentary watchdog the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

On This Site, I questioned whether those 56 names included some of those on a list known to the Tory whips during Theresa May’s leadership – and asked why these people, if they were known to have committed offences, had been allowed to continue as MPs for years when they should have been arrested.

Leaving sexual offences behind, Conservative MPs have been at the centre of a string of corruption allegations. Remember Owen Paterson?

Guilty or not, this accusation leaves another grubby mark on the Conservative Party’s reputation.

This is an organisation that claims to be fit to run the United Kingdom, for the benefit of everybody, yet its members – possibly including people in the highest offices in the land – seem determined to act on their own basest instincts to harm others.

And the party’s leaders seem completely unconcerned.

Why do we let these creatures govern the country when experience shows they can’t even govern themselves?

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Was protester who egged Margaret Thatcher statue just the first of many?

Hanged in effigy: how many people wished the statue’s head would snap off after a rope was strung around its neck in order to allow a crane to place it on its plinth?

We now know that the man who threw eggs at Grantham’s new statue of Margaret Thatcher was an arts centre deputy director who lives on the street where she was born.

According to Metro, Jeremy Webster proclaimed that he was “the first egg thrower” on social media shortly after doing it.

But the paper’s claim that the 59-year-old made a “call to arms” may have been exaggerated. He had tweeted, “Grantham unveils Thatcher statue, so guess where we are going?” That could have referred simply to himself and his partner, who filmed the egging.

The Telegraph also claimed that he put up a now-deleted post on Instagram which said: “South Wales miners are heading up to Grantham to remove her head.”

It is certainly known that the statue is a target for vandals:

After a large-scale £100,000 unveiling ceremony was approved by South Kesteven District Council in 2020, a Facebook group proposed an ‘egg-throwing contest’ at the event.

More than 2,400 people confirmed they would take part in ‘egg throwing’ and ‘potentially graffiti art’.

As a result of the warning, the council installed a CCTV camera directly opposite the statue.

Call it a hunch, but This Writer doesn’t think CCTV is going to stop anybody from expressing themselves.

Source: Protester who egged Margaret Thatcher statue ‘revealed’ as arts centre boss

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Cost of living crisis: How will prescription charge freeze help people who need it?

Sajid Javid: the eyes are open but the mind is not.

Sajid Javid’s an ignorant little… banker, isn’t he?

This entitled Tory twit has frozen prescription charges in England, saying keeping the charge at an extortionate £9.35 until next year will “put money back in people’s pockets.”

No, it won’t – certainly not for me. I live in Wales.

And it won’t even do that in England. It just won’t take any more money from people hard-pressed by the cost-of-living crisis.

And, of course, it won’t help everybody – just those who are ill…

… who aren’t among the 90 per cent who already get their prescriptions free of charge.

So that counts those on state benefits, pregnant women and new mothers, people with specified medical conditions or disabilities, the over-60s and under-16s out of having any money put back in their pockets by this change.

And of course people here in Wales, and also in Scotland and Northern Ireland, also have free prescriptions.

“The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine,” Javid said. “Whilst we can’t completely prevent these rises, where we can help – we absolutely will.”

But it seems the only people likely to benefit from this help with the cost of living are people who don’t need it. He’s just saving cash for his fellow Tories.

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Thatcher statue is erected in Grantham – and immediately vandalised

Stretching her neck: some commenters have suggested the only appropriate element of the statue’s placement was the fact that a rope was fastened around its throat, making it appear that the controversial former prime minister was being hanged.

Council workers have placed a controversial statue of Margaret Thatcher on its specially-high plinth, behind a (temporary) wall, in an unannounced move – and still failed to prevent the public having its say.

As the BBC states,

The £300,000 statue was offered to South Kesteven District Council after plans to erect it in Parliament Square in London were rejected.

It has been placed on a 10ft (3m) high plinth under CCTV surveillance to minimise the risk of vandalism.

However, within two hours of it being put in place someone had thrown eggs at it.

That’s true:

Some might say it would be appropriate for bright businesspeople – in the spirit of enterprise that Thatcher supported – to launch guided tours of Thatcher’s history in Grantham, culminating in a visit to the statue… with eggs provided and included in the cost.

Council leader Kelham Cooke said that, as Grantham was Thatcher’s home town, it was appropriate that the debate on her legacy should take place there.

It seems clear her critics have passed the first comment.

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Rwanda policy has made illegal migration problem WORSE

Priti Patel: she and her boss Boris Johnson are the only people who deserve to be carted off to live in an African dictatorship. They’re too stupid and pig-headed to be allowed to stay in the UK’s government.

Priti Patel’s plan to send people accused of being illegal migrants to Rwanda has not stopped boats crossing the channel but has sent some asylum-seekers into hiding – creating a cost, and time, burden for the authorities, while others have resorted to self-harm – creating work for the NHS.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that the government is preparing to deport the first 50 migrants to Rwanda – and to spend who-knows-how-much-money defending the decision in the courts.

So, all things considered, these two idiot Tories have achieved nothing more than a waste of public money, and public organisations’ time.

What a pair of [insert expletive of your choice here].

Apparently, more than 7,000 people have crossed the channel in small boats in the first four months of the year – more than three times as many as last year and more than seven times as many as in 2020.

The latest available government figures show 792 migrants arrived in small boats in the week from 2 to 8 May.

The Tories are saying their deportation policy will take a considerable time to push through, as legal challenges will “take time”.

But Patel said she would not be deterred…

The government says the new scheme will be a major blow to people smugglers and will stop people dying on dangerous routes to the UK.

… certainly not by the facts, it seems.

Meanwhile, Johnson has been taking an opportunity to denigrate the lawyers who will stand up for the migrants’ rights.

In an interview with the Mail, he said:

“There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to mount these sort of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We’re ready for that.

“We will dig in for the fight and we will make it work,” he added. “We’ve got a huge flowchart of things we have to do to deal with it, with the leftie lawyers.”

How strange. It isn’t the “leftie lawyers” who are wasting a fortune on a pointless policy of persecution.

It’s this profligate prime minister and his psychotic home secretary.

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Is Labour really complacent about losing ethnic minority support – or institutionally racist?

Starmer takes the knee for Black Lives Matter: to him it meant nothing more than a photo opportunity. Black lives don’t matter to him – as we discovered when he attacked the organisation shortly after.

Labour has lost a lot of ground in “ethnic minority strongholds” that has been ignored by many media commentators, according to the author of this piece’s source article (see the link below).

But is it because the party has become complacent, as the author argues? Or is it because Labour is now racist and does not care about these voters?

One obvious argument for the latter is that Labour has just spent seven years suffering an onslaught of mostly-unfounded and untrue accusations of anti-Semitism. It would be irrational for the party to be complacent about racism after that; therefore the evidence suggests this was a conscious choice.

Damningly for Labour,

Tower Hamlets, which sees British Muslims suffer some of the most deprived conditions in the UK, was notably won by Lutfur Rahman, a former Labour councillor who was banned from holding office for five years after being found guilty of a litany of fraud and corruption charges.

Why would the people of this borough turn to somebody who had been found guilty of fraud and corruption, rather than Labour?

Also lost to the party was Croydon council and the mayoralty of Harrow.

50.7 per cent of Croydon’s population are described as “Bame” and 61.9 per cent of Harrow’s population are non-white British.

The article states that many religious and ethnic minorities, including the author, no longer have faith in Labour because anti-racism and anti-imperialism aren’t given priority in the Labour Party.

Evidence supporting this includes Keir Starmer’s tacit assertion that racism within institutions wasn’t worth tackling when he described calls from Black Lives Matter to defund the police as “nonsense”, adding that it was a shame the movement was “getting tangled up with these organisational issues”. It was particularly insensitive in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

For many, it felt as if he was saying that if voters were worried about police brutality, voting for him would not help.

Worse is the spectre of Islamophobia within Labour – which eclipses anti-Semitism to a huge degree. Starmer refused to stand up for Muslim MPs facing Islamophobia in Parliament. A report by Labour Muslims in 2020 stated that 44 per cent of “Muslim members and supporters do not believe the Labour Party takes the issue of Islamophobia seriously”. A January 2022 poll from Muslim Census also suggested that Labour risks losing half of its Muslim vote at the next general election.

Of course, Starmer’s claim to have tackled anti-Semitism has created a huge blind spot in his thinking (at the very least). So he asserts that Israel is not an apartheid state, in defiance of the majority vote within Labour to sanction that country over its apartheid policy against Palestinians.

Sixty-one per cent of Labour voters support Boycott, Divestment Sanction (BDS) while Starmer vehemently opposes it.

They can’t all be anti-Semites; the level of anti-Semitism within Labour was less than the national average when Jeremy Corbyn was leader and it is unlikely to have risen exponentially since Starmer took over. Starmer’s own stance, of course, implies that he is racist against Palestinians.

Labour MPs have also been criticised for failing to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities (think of John Mann, now a Tory lord) – although this falls short of the active persecution of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts law.

The evidence is clear: ethnic minorities see Labour providing no answer to the discrimination, state violence and indifference to both that plague them in a nation that the Tories improbably claim is not institutionally racist.

But if Starmer continues to ignore the concerns of minority communities, they will continue to abandon his party – and that will make him seem even more of a racist than he does now.

Source: Labour’s complacency about losing ethnic minority support will cost the party at the next general election

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Mealy-mouthed response from Labour’s Streeting after Israelis shoot Palestinian reporter dead

Wes Streeting: it’s all jolly fun in Israel for him.

Apartheid-denier Wes Streeting has been caught in a cleft stick.

He’s currently in Israel on a paid junket, enjoying the hospitality of the right-wing government there that has been inflicting apartheid on the persecuted people of Palestine for many years.

Of course, there’s not a single word of criticism against this cruelty by Labour Friends of Israel member Streeting.

And then a Palestinian reporter was shot in the head by Israeli troops and died – and Streeting had nothing to say about it.

Condemnation has been widespread (where people have been made aware of what happened and of Streeting’s decision to ignore it). Here‘s Skwawkbox‘s take on it:

As the world reeled at horrific footage after [Shireen] Abu Akleh was shot in the head with what appeared to an exploding ‘butterfly’ bullet of the type used by Israeli soldiers, Streeting and LFI posted a string of images of him smiling with Israeli government officials – each of which prompted disgusted responses by Twitter users challenging the appropriateness of the visit and the apparent lack of interest on the part of either Streeting or LFI in condemning the country’s murder of journalists – over fifty in recent years – or reporting on any challenge to the government officials about the actions of their troops.

Visit that site’s story for tweets that are critical of Streeting’s – and Labour’s – response.

But worse was to follow.

At the journalist’s funeral, Israeli forces took it upon themselves to invade the procession and beat the casket-bearers:

This time, Streeting took it upon himself to tweet the sickeningly on-the-fence comment, “Absolutely awful and distressing.”

He didn’t say what was awful and distressing; his comment was carefully-worded to avoid any criticism of the Israeli authorities. Some may say this is because they are his hosts at the moment. Some may say it is because he tacitly supports the violence here. His equivocation lays him open to that.

And that means that Streeting and the Labour Party may now be slammed for failing to condemn this double atrocity – and they have been, as follows:

Labour leader Keir Starmer has had nothing to say for himself about the shocking events – although in fairness he did sum up the courage to retweet a comment by David Lammy:

But it doesn’t add up to the condemnation of Israeli government and armed brutality that the situation requires. Starmer can’t even muster up the courage to admit that Israel is an apartheid state.

The message for people in the UK should be clear.

If Labour can’t take a stand against persecution and brutality in a foreign country, there’s absolutely no way a Labour government will stand against persecution and brutality here in the UK.

Source: Streeting, LFI slammed for happy tweets from Israel with no mention of murdered journalist – SKWAWKBOX

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