Category Archives: Protest

Priti Patel disapproved of Black Lives Matter protests – is anybody surprised?

 

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: when he gets into trouble, she starts making questionable statements to the media.

It might be too much to say that Priti Patel’s obvious disdain for people of certain ethnic origins makes this a foregone conclusion.

So let’s just allow her record to speak for itself. Run a search for “Priti Patel” on this site and see what comes up. And see this for a current example of her behaviour:

On the current issue, The Guardian says she described the protests prompted by the killing of George Floyd by police in the United States as “dreadful”.

It seems she didn’t like the way that some of these protests turned violent after police became involved. Or did I misinterpret those events?

So, what did she think of the peaceful gesture that people chose to make – “taking the knee”?

Asked if she would be prepared to take the knee, she replied: “No I wouldn’t, and I would not have done at the time either.

So in other words, she didn’t like any kind of protest?

“I don’t support protest…”

Wow. So we’re all supposed to just knuckle under and accept any kind of ill-treatment, no matter how appalling – including murder by police officers?

I’m not okay with that. And I’m not alone:

Mind you, it seems odd that – after nobody asked her – Priti Patel should suddenly come out with a comment like this.

It’s as though there was another motive for it…

Or is that too much of a stretch?

Source: Priti Patel hits out at ‘dreadful’ Black Lives Matter protests | Priti Patel | The Guardian

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Coca-Cola fox cull halted after campaigners raised the alarm

This article was going to be a call to arms – but now it seems the pressure is off after Coca-Cola announced it has put plans to shoot foxes at its Sidcup factory “on hold”.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the multinational drinks firm won’t kill large numbers of the animal by other means, but at least it signifies that bosses are willing to discuss what can be done.

Residents launched a passionate “Stop the Cull” campaign after they discovered a plan for the mass killing of foxes – to take place today, February 11 – on the Cray Road, Sidcup site.

They pointed out that at this time of year it would mean the targeting of pregnant vixens.

This Writer is not particularly fond of foxes as, in large numbers, they can become pests.

But I have always opposed fox hunting (and any blood sport) and killing animals because they interfere with industry is unacceptable because it ultimately leads to the mass extinctions we are causing across the world.

Coca-Cola has released a statement, quoted in some news outlets as follows:

“Unfortunately foxes can, on occasion, cause damage and we have found the need to keep their numbers under control at our Sidcup site.

“We have taken on board people’s feedback and understand their concerns.

“We have put these control measures on hold at our Sidcup site and we are now reviewing what other options are available.”

Campaigners favour a humane, non-lethal fox management service called Fox-a-gon and it is to be hoped that the firm will take that into account.

Source: Fox culling at Coca Cola’s Sidcup site criticised | News Shopper

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Journalist arrest after Kent refugee camp protest shows how the Tories put down dissent

Napier barracks: I believe this is one of the images that led to the police arresting Andy Aitchison. But if he was behind a camera, how could he have been carrying out criminal damage?

Whoever would have predicted that the United Kingdom would descend to this?

The Conservative government, under xenophobic Home Secretary Priti Patel, has opened a series of concentration camps where they have dumped hundreds of asylum-seekers.

I wrote about them in December last year.

The camps have inadequate and poorly cooked food, no privacy, and inadequate shower and toilet facilities.

Camp residents are unable to socially distance, or to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

They have to sleep in dormitories of up to 28 people – which is probably why more than 100 people at the Napier Barracks camp in Kent have contracted the virus in the last two weeks.

The Home Office reaction was to blame people living in the camp, saying residents (inmates would be a better word) refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules that they could not have followed because of the conditions forced on them by the Home Office.

Conditions there led to activists protesting outside the site on Thursday morning, where they allegedly threw buckets of food colouring, water and shampoo or conditioner – fake blood – at the gate and on the ground in front of the gate.

Demonstrators had signs reading: “Close Napier now” and “Priti Patel: there will be blood on your hands”.

Freelance photographer Andy Aitchison attended and took photographs, some of which appeared in local press reports of the protest.

Around six hours after the protest, matters took a sinister turn when police arrived at Mr Aitchison’s house and arrested him for criminal damage.

Really? Criminal damage? He took some photos of a demonstration that was embarrassing to the Conservative government and to Priti Patel and this arrest looks like suspicious use of the police for political purposes.

On Friday afternoon (January 29), a fire broke out in the camp – cause unknown. Fortunately Mr Aitchison can’t be blamed – one of his bail conditions is not to go to the camp.

Patel herself had the cheek to publish a statement accusing people at the barracks of vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

She actually told us that this behaviour was “deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country”:

No, Priti Patel. You are deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country. You have made us complicit in providing facilities of such poor quality that they actually endanger the lives of the people you force to live there.

This Writer thinks there should be an investigation into what is happening at Napier Barracks and any connection between that and Patel.

I think the use of the police to intimidate a photojournalist for doing his job must also be probed.

Sadly, I know the UK’s institutions are as corrupt as they come. No such investigations will happen and if there has been corrupt behaviour, those responsible will be protected. Over the last 40 years, it’s what we’ve all been voting for.

Source: ‘It’s censorship’: Journalist arrested after photographing protest outside controversial asylum camp | The Independent

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As fishing industry lorries protested in Whitehall, did the Tories experience the shell of fear?

Fishery protest: do you think the Tories got the message?

It was hardly what the Tories could call the sweet smell of success.

Yesterday morning a fleet of lorries representing the Scottish fishing industry converged on Whitehall and Downing Street bearing messages of post-Brexit protest against Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal.

Fears are high that the industry could collapse altogether as fish prices have plummeted due to bureaucracy that has left catches rotting rather than crossing EU borders.

So it seems Scottish fishery firms decided to bring the problem home to the Tory government by letting ministers experience for themselves the consequences of their decisions.

Curiously, it seems to have taken the Tory-supporting, Brexit-orientated media a while to cotton on to the newsworthiness of the demonstration:

They got their in the end, though.

The protest seems to have had an effect.

In contrast to Dominic Raab’s claims that delays to fishing exports were just “teething problems”, Boris Johnson announced a £23 million fund to support firms which “through no fault of their own have experienced bureaucratic delays, difficulties getting their goods through, where there is a genuine willing buyer on the other side of the channel”.

He said details of the scheme would be available later in the week.

This Writer will believe it when I see it, but the Scottish fisheries are to be congratulated.

It seems their aromatic lorries may have acted like a dose of smelling salts – and woken up our ministers.

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After another SERIES of ‘free school meals’ scandals, Rashford demands overhaul of the whole system

Marcus Rashford: he wins campaigns against Boris Johnson’s government (unlike Keir Starmer’s Labour Party) so it is welcome that he is spearheading this call for an all-encompassing review of government policy on child food poverty.

After the second ‘Free School Meals’ scandal in three days, This Writer feels sure I was among many people who wondered why Marcus Rashford – now generally accepted as the Opposition to the Tory government in such matters – had not spoken up.

Now we know.

Rashford, who was instrumental in forcing the government to provide free school meals during Covid-19 lockdowns and during holidays – including Christmas – when the Tories wanted children to starve, has not confined himself to a single FSM-related issue.

Instead he has joined with celebrity chefs and campaigners to demand a full review of Tory policy on child food poverty which they rightly say is not fit for purpose.

They have written a letter to Boris Johnson and his trained-ape-serving-as-Education-Secretary, Gavin Williamson, here:

It deserves to be reproduced in full:

 We are writing to you to express our concern that the issue of Free School Meals risks once again becoming divisive, and to encourage the Government to undertake an urgent comprehensive review of Free School Meal policy to reform the system for the longer term. We are ready and willing to support your Government in whatever way we can to make this review a reality and to help develop a set of recommendations that everyone can support. It is only by working together that we end child food poverty.

We know that all political parties agree on the outcome that we are aiming for – ensuring that all children have access to enough health, good-quality food to fulfil their potential. Last Autumn, the Government announced several very positive new measures to help combat child hunger, and we strongly welcomed those announcements. This week, we were heartened to see the Department for Education’s swift response to reports of inadequate Free School Meal food parcels being provided by private companies. The robustness of the message from you and the Secretary of State on this issue was very welcome.

I can only assume the last two sentences of this paragraph were included to butter Johnson up, as most of the nation was horrified that Johnson had contracted out responsibility to provide £30 food parcels to private, profit-making firms who did what came naturally – skimmed off five-sixths of the cash in profit and provided £5 worth of food to cover children’s meals for 10 days.

Some Tories even went on the record to say they couldn’t understand the fuss as this was only supposed to provide for a single meal in the day – without realising that their right-wing policies have stamped on families so hard that this may be the only food those children see in a day.

Despite these positive commitments, we strongly feel that now (following the series of problems which have arisen over school food vouchers, holiday provision and food parcels since the start of the pandemic) is the right moment for you to step back and review the policy in more depth. The signatories to this letter urge the Government to conduct an urgent comprehensive review into Free School Meal policy across the UK to provide recommendations for the next Spending Review.

This would allow the Government to provide strong national leadership on children’s food so that our nation’s most disadvantaged children and their families, already disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, don’t continue to bear the brunt. In the first lockdown (March-August), 2.3 million children experienced food insecurity and during the 2020 summer holidays 850,000 children reported that they or their families visited a food bank. Free School Meals are a very important part of the safety net that protects children from impoverished families from hunger and poor nutrition.

We believe the review should be debated in Parliament and published before the 2021 summer holidays. The process will require collaboration from politicians in all the devolved nations with responsibility for school food in their regions, and must involve close consultation with children and young people, as well as teachers, charities, NGOs, frontline catering staff and school meals service providers. It should draw on evidence of food insecurity and health inequalities. We stand ready to provide our full support to the review process.

And experience tells us that the only people Boris Johnson’s government likes to consult are those who are likely to agree with what he wants to do; dissenting voices are ignored. This will make it very difficult for the Tories to devise a strategy that works for any group wider than the Conservative government of Boris Johnson.

We recommend that its scope include:

1. The current eligibility thresholds for Free School Meals. The Government should seek to ensure disadvantaged children are not excluded from Free School Meal eligibility (in line with National Food Strategy recommendations) and to work with the Devolved Administrations to eliminate disparities between the nations. Current estimates show 2 in 5 UK children under the poverty line are missing out. The ongoing eligibility for children from No Recourse to Public Funds should be address explicitly.

2. How funding for Free School Meals can deliver the biggest nutritional and educational impact, supporting children’s learning and well-being throughout the school day and during the school holidays (including breakfast provision and the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme). This should include whether the current allowance for Free School Meals is adequate and whether funding for national breakfasts adequately covers all who would benefit from access to provision.

3. How schools can be supported to deliver the best quality school meals which adhere to school food standards and which ensure the poorest children receive the best possible offer. This should include introducing mandatory monitoring and evaluation on an ongoing basis of Free School Meal take-up, the quality/nutritional adequacy of meals, and examining how the financial transparency of the current system can be improved.

4. What we have learned from Covid-19 and its impact on children in low-income families and the implications of this for school food policy for the next 5 years, as the country recovers.

5. Ensuring that existing school food programmes (such as Free School Meals, holiday provision and breakfast provision) eliminate experiences of stigma for the poorest students. Review the impact that Universal Infant Free School Meals has had on stigma, health, and education.

6. The role of family income (wages and benefits) in enabling families to afford quality food in and outside of school time and during the holidays with choice and dignity.

The Tory response to this should be interesting. Tories habitually say families should be able to provide for their own children, despite the fact that their own policies have squeezed family incomes beyond breaking-point. It’s no good saying people should be able to afford things when you are responsible for ensuring that they can’t!

This review would provide the Government with the opportunity to future-proof its policy on school food, and to carefully consider how best to support low-income children and families in the aftermath of the pandemic. It would also demonstrate the Government’s commitment to tackling child food poverty in the longer term and be a significant step towards a comprehensive long-term plan.

I foresee difficulties.

Already the Welsh Government – which is run by the Labour Party – has taken to Twitter to let people in Wales know that the problems created by the Tories in England do not affect them:

The Tories are hardly going to want to work with organisations that are merrily scoring points off them.

School food is essential in supporting the health and learning of our most disadvantaged children. Now, at a time when children have missed months of in-school learning and the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our health, this is a vital next step.

The letter is signed by Rashford, Jamie Oliver, Emma Thompson, Tom Kerridge and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and by representatives of Food Foundation, School Food Matters, Chefs in Schools, the Children Society, Children’s Food Campaign, Children’s First Alliance, Feeding Britain, Soil Association, The Bread and Butter Thing, Mayor’s Fund for London, The School Food People, Meals & More, Poverty and Inequality Commission, Independent Food Aid Network UK, Impact on Urban Health, The Fair Education Alliance, the WI, ASSIST FM, Magic Breakfast, Turn2Us, Buttle UK, Greater Manchester Poverty Action, End Child Poverty Coalition, TACT, Scottish Qut of School Care Network, Khulisa UK, The Mighty Creatives, The Equality Trust, One Parent Families Scotland, End Furniture Poverty, Family Action, USDAW, Child Poverty Action Group, Biteback 2030, Just Fair, Rose Hill & Donnington Advice Centre, Oxford, Co-Op Retail, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, The British Psychological Society, British Association of Social Workers, Association of School and College Leaders, King’s Cross Academy, Academies Enterprise Trust, Cabot Learning Federation, Co-op Academies Trust, The Shared Learning Trust, The Eden Academy Trust, LDBS Academies Trusts, National Governance Association, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education and Teach First.

I include the whole list because I think it is important for us to understand the sheer number of organisations that now exist to address children’s food poverty – or have to address it as part of their wider activities.

This has only become such a major issue because the Conservatives have forced so many families into food poverty.

So it seems worthwhile to raise the issue of whether we should stop allowing Conservative Party members to form governments that inflict such misery, such starvation, on so many millions of us, just so a tiny minority can live in the kind of luxury that most of us cannot even imagine.

There’s only one question left to ask:

Why is Rashford doing the Labour Party’s job? If Jeremy Corbyn was still party leader, Labour would be all over this.

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With days left in his presidency, Donald Trump is to be impeached out of it

And a good thing, too.

After Donald Trump used Twitter to incite his followers to protest against the legitimate result of last November’s US presidential election – at which a riot then ensued – it seemed the worst sanction he was likely to receive was a lifetime ban from Twitter.

Many people were incensed…

… including members of his own party – like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This speech may very well be the best performance of his life. Perhaps it’s because it came from the heart:

It seems these voices have been heard.

On Monday (January 11), formal impeachment proceedings were launched against Trump by Congress – the United States Parliament.

This is an ongoing story.

Let’s hope it has a happy ending for us all.

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Perverted UK right-wingers use riots by their US counterparts to attack British SOCIALISTS

Ian Austin: this wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing is trying to divert blame for the US Capitol riots onto socialists – who weren’t there and had nothing to do with it.

Already the Far Right in the UK is twisting the narrative of the US Capitol riot into a bid to blame the Left.

The riot in Washington DC yesterday (January 6) was carried out by members of far-right political groups in the United States, at the bidding of Donald Trump, one of the most right-wing presidents that nation has had, certainly in its recent history.

And what is the message our politicians are projecting?

Well, let’s look at former UK Labour MP Ian Austin’s opinion:

First he equates the Labour Party under former leader Jeremy Corbyn with the “hard left”, which is false. Corbyn’s politics was centre-left, of the kind we see in government in several European countries including the very successful Scandinavian nations.

He follows it with a lie that supporters of this centre-left viewpoint are somehow wholehearted supporters of terrorists (the IRA) and totalitarian dictatorships. There is no evidence to support these wild claims.

Finally, he claims that socialists would not accept an election defeat, in complete denial of events here in the UK in December 2019 – which really isn’t very long ago!

Needless to say, genuine socialists have responded hotly – and accurately:

But a lie can run around the world before the truth has got its shoes on, as the saying goes.

Socialists do not organise riots – fascists do.

And then they lay the blame on socialists. Know your enemy.

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Four dead after Trump provokes US Capitol riot – and the UK Tories are taking notes

Buddies: Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Johnson has refused to condemn Trump’s involvement in the US Capitol riot; indeed, he was probably too busy taking notes.

It has been claimed that what happens in the United States is brought to the UK several years later.

With that in mind, watch this clip of Priti Patel refusing to condemn Donald Trump for provoking a riot in Washington DC yesterday:

UK prime minister Boris Johnson also condemned the riots but stopped short of criticising Trump:

The reason? They’re taking notes.

Trump has spent the last two months protesting against the result of last November’s presidential election, which he lost decisively to Democrat Joe Biden.

He triggered a scandal earlier in the week when it was revealed that he had engaged Georgia’s (Republican) Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an hour-long telephone conversation in which he appealed for his colleague to “find” 11,780 votes – one more than the 11,779 majority that Biden achieved in that state.

This is electoral fraud and Raffensperger wouldn’t have it.

Trump went on to spout a series of conspiracy theories that (it has been claimed) far-right internet sites have been promoting – including that his opponents tampered with voting machines in the state. His claims were greeted with a blunt “no” from the leading lawyer on Raffensperger’s team.

The revelation was greeted as a scandal bigger than Watergate. The only reason Trump wasn’t facing impeachment after the recording of his call was published by the Washington Post is that unlike Richard Nixon, his own party leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives are not willing to condemn him.

Then came the riot.

Congress was due to meet yesterday (January 6) for a purely ceremonial event to confirm Biden’s election victory – but Trump wasn’t having it.

He tweeted a call for his supporters to attend and protest, appealing for them to “stop the steal”.

Events escalated out of control into a riot in which members of the US public stormed the Capitol, and now four people are dead.

One, unofficially named as San Diego-area US Air Force veteran and Trump supporter Ashli Babbit, was part of a group that forced entry into the House room while it was still in session. They were confronted by plain-clothes police officers, one of whom pulled out a weapon and fired it. She was rushed to hospital where she was later proclaimed dead.

Another woman and two men died as a result of “medical emergencies”, officials said, without giving details. At least 14 members of the police were also injured.

Trump has not apologised for instigating the riot or for the deaths to which it led. He is still denying the legitimacy of the election result but has agreed to an “orderly transition” of the presidency to Biden.

Add it all up and it amounts to a shocking degeneration and indictment against Trump in the last days of his presidency.

And the silence from the UK’s government is equally appalling.

But then, we should remember that Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has been a wholehearted Trump supporter – with Johnson himself even suggesting the soon-to-be ex-president should receive the Nobel Peace Prize:

But let’s not restrict this to Johnson (and Patel, above). Plenty of other UK political figures have supported Trump:

That is why I feel the need to amplify these comments:

Think about it – because you can be sure Johnson and his planners are.

They’ll be looking at what happened and how it happened, and working out how they can create the same situation in the UK and spin it to make them look good.

Then they will have a little ace-in-the-hole if their policies look like creating civil unrest in the future.

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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Did Johnson lock us down because he expects a riot?

Sound and fury: but the 2011 riots signified nothing. The government of the day suffered absolutely no harm at all from all the burning and looting that people inflicted on each other.

Apparently it’s called multiple discovery.

At the moment, many people across the UK are discovering the idea that a good way to respond to the absolute, unforgivable uselessness of Boris Johnson and his entire Conservative government – on Covid-19, on Brexit, and – let’s face it – on every other policy they have touched with their soiled Tory hands…

… is to riot.

Silly, silly people.

Don’t get me wrong. Considering the circumstances, rioting might be thought to be a reasonable reaction.

But I was having this conversation with a very good friend of mine recently, and had to point out that Johnson and his mobster mates won’t give a fig if a riot happens, because they know the rioters won’t target anything that could possibly make a difference.

Look at the riots in 2011. What happened?

A lot of people took to the streets and caused a lot of damage – to shops, to public property, and to other people.

They didn’t cause any harm at all to the people or institutions they blamed for harming them – by which I mean David Cameron and the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government of the day.

None at all.

As I said to my friend, if I was going to riot, the first thing I’d do would be to ensure that the police could not get their people and vehicles out of their stations to put down the public expression of unrest.

I don’t know how to do this, so we’re already talking academically, rather than practically.

The next thing I’d do would be to target seats of government; bring down the systems they use to inflict their idiocy on the rest of us.

The last thing I would do is target the homes and persons – in London and/or in the wider UK – of particular politicians I would hold responsible for the wholesale harm being done to thousands of ordinary people in the UK every week.

I wouldn’t go near my fellow citizens who are also suffering, their property, and/or the means by which they earn their living.

That would be equivalent to self-harm.

But it is always the first resort of the rioter.

Still, right after I had this conversation, I found the following on Twitter:

(Implying that the UK should by on fire right now.)

It’s a good point. Johnson’s latest wheeze has been to prompt foreign countries into closing their borders to anybody coming from the UK. They say he has turned the country into a “Plague Island” (and they’re not wrong).

This means international hauliers have been stopped at the country’s borders and are now backing up along the UK’s roads and motorways.

Not only has the supply chain seized up…

… but there is an urgent health risk to the drivers themselves, who have no direct access to food, toilets or washing facilities.

Johnson simply didn’t think of these things before he announced to us all that his failures had laid the UK prey to a new, more virulent variant of Covid-19. He and his advisers are too stupid to understand the implications of their decisions.

Here’s another good point:

In fact, it seems there is no outlet for the public to express our dissatisfaction with the way the government we elected has disgraced itself.

The mainstream media might broadcast interviews with people saying Johnson and his cronies have let us down but if our failed prime minister ever sees them, he’ll just laugh; people shouting at a camera can’t hurt him and they certainly won’t stop him.

He can ignore petitions.

Parliament is in recess for Christmas and he’s resisting demands for it to be recalled. He likes to do his business without democratic oversight, remember.

So what can you do?

Yeah, we can crack.

We can fall into a vortex of “loneliness, depression and anxiety”.

Believe me, Boris Johnson would be delighted by that result!

If you’re disgusted with everything he has done, you probably won’t want to please him in this way.

So the question arises:

What are you going to do?

It’s Christmas. You’re on a break. There’s a bit of time for you to make a decision.

Better make it a good one.

Because if it isn’t…

You may never see another Christmas.

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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Starmer’s authority crumbles further as shadow minister’s CLP demands Corbyn’s reinstatement

“We are many, they are few”: they being, it seems, the pro-Starmer faction of the wider Labour Party membership. And the longer Jeremy Corbyn remains suspended as a party member, the fewer they will become.

Days after Keir Starmer’s Labour leadership repeated a demand for rank-and-file Labour members not to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension or demand its reversal, CLPs are using his own hypocrisy to attack him.

This Site pointed out the double-standard in an article two days ago.

The day after it appeared, Bristol West CLP supported a motion that highlighted the hypocritical demand. It said, in part:

A number of public figures, including but not limited to the leader of the party, the deputy leader of the party, and the Socialist Campaign Group have issued public statements on the suspension, and that the SCG has called for re-instatement, yet the general secretary has nevertheless ordered that CLPs cannot do the same.

The CLP, political home of shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire, added:

This CLP resolves:

To condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and demand his reinstatement to the party.

To oppose any and all politically motivated disciplinary actions against the left by the leadership.

According to Skwawbox, right-wingers in the Bristol West Labour Party tried to pack the meeting in order to defeat the motion – or at least amend it – in what can clearly be interpreted as an attack on democracy by supporters of Keir Starmer.

It failed.

But Starmer – and his people – need to answer for their actions.

Source: Exclusive: full wording of motion passed on Monday by Shadow Cabinet minister’s CLP, condemning ‘political’ Corbyn suspension – SKWAWKBOX