Tag Archives: action

Enough is Enough: people in Luton explain why they’re taking action

Standout moment from this video is early, when a member of the public explains that people have to take direct action themselves because Keir Starmer’s Labour Party doesn’t know what opposition to government failures is.

Take a look:

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Another social media site is being sued by big money. Can you help?

I know times are hard but it seems that money is trying to silence the facts again.

Here’s the video clip explaining what is going on:

Can you help?

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Liz Truss is forcing the EU to confrontation over the NI protocol. Or will it wait for a better UK government?

Another ‘grace period’ in which the Northern Ireland Protocol of the UK-EU Brexit agreement is not fully implemented has come to an end and the UK’s Tory government has again failed to respect the deadline.

This means the full effect of the protocol is still not being felt. In the video clip below, Phil Moorhouse argues that the EU has chosen not to formally object because its leaders are hoping the Tories are now in their twilight days and will be removed from power in the UK after the next general election, following which they can have an adult conversation with whoever succeeds them:

It seems that events have already overtaken the clip, in fact. Here‘s the BBC:

The UK has told the EU it will continue delaying customs checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, despite legal action from Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The EU is considering its next steps.

The EU has launched a series of lawsuits over what it sees as the UK’s failure to comply with checks on the movement of farm produce from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

It has also started legal action over legislation that would allow the UK to alter the protocol, introduced by Liz Truss when she was foreign secretary.

Phil’s opinion that the UK will never agree to end the ‘grace periods’ seems correct. He’s mistaken in believing the EU won’t launch legal action.

So now what?

It’s hard to tell because the EU’s response will be quiet during the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

Considering the aims of the European Research Group (ERG) that appears to be controlling UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, it seems clear that a confrontation is coming that the UK will lose badly. Perhaps it’s better to wait for a more reasonable UK government.

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Rubbish collectors take industrial action. Now it really IS the Summer of Discontent!

Rubbish collection: this is not happening in Edinburgh.

Those of us who remember the original Winter of Discontent in 1978-9 may recall seeing news footage of bins overflowing with rubbish that was going uncollected because the workers who usually picked it up were on strike.

Well, thanks to the Tories, it seems those bad old days are back:

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Civil servants are upset that their pay is being cut like everyone else’s

Poor babies: civil servants have implemented government policies that have caused the cost-of-living crisis and a dramatic fall in UK living standards. Did they really think they were not going to be hit as badly as the rest of us?

Members of the organisation that implements government policy are reportedly up in arms after finding out that the policies they are implementing also affect them.

With inflation surging to seven or eight per cent, Cabinet Office minister Heather Wheeler has informed public sector employers that they may award pay rises up to just two per cent, plus up to an extra percentage point in some cases, to be “targeted at specific priorities in their workforce and pay strategies”.

It’s a massive pay cut, the same as the rest of us are facing.

The Guardian article I’m using as a source suggests that average rises are 4.8 per cent but I’ve yet to hear of anybody receiving that much. What happens to that average if it’s applied only to the bottom 90 per cent of earners?

Meanwhile, MPs are getting a huge pay rise that will cover increased costs – even though most of them will claim those costs on expenses in any case.

Mark Serwotka of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union did his duty by pointing out that the government is cutting pay in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis:

“The failure of the government to recognise the cost-of-living crisis is a disgrace and shows utter contempt to our members, who have worked themselves to the bone during the pandemic … PCS will now be discussing an industrial response to this outrage.”

But didn’t the rest of us work just as hard to keep the UK going during the pandemic? This Writer didn’t stop working for a single day but my income has fallen hugely.

And the civil service has been happy to implement the decisions that are impoverishing the rest of us.

It would be easy to say that these people should have had a backbone and refused to inflict misery on millions of their fellow citizens.

But that would be unrealistic. They are servants – it’s in their job title. Their purpose is to do what the government demands, no matter how destructive or deranged.

So it’s better to say:

If the civil service will force the rest of us to suffer this government-inflicted persecution, it should be prepared to join us in it, rather than taking industrial action out of self-interest.

Source: Fury after civil service pay rises capped at 3% amid surging inflation

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Here’s why this #Israeli arms firm was forced to close UK #weapons factory

[Image: Palestine Action.]

Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Ferranti has been forced to shut down and sell a weapons factory in Oldham, here in the UK, after nearly 18 months of occupation, blockade and other action by campaigners.

According to activists at Palestine Action, drones built at the factory were sold to the Israeli Ministry of Defence and used to attack people in Palestine.

For example, the group says the Hermes 450 drone is “one of the most used drones in the world. The company markets the drone as ‘combat proven’, having battle-tested it on Palestinian people.

“It was used to bomb targets, including people, in the 2014 assault on Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – which killed 2,202 Palestinians.

“During the attack on Gaza, four young children, all aged between 10 and 11, were murdered when they were targeted by Israeli drones. They were playing on the beach when a Hermes 450 captured footage of them. An Israeli air force commander then ordered the operators of a second drone to fire, killing one of the boys. After firing the first missile, the operators of the second drone pursued the rest of the boys. They did not receive orders to shoot again, but fired anyway, killing the other three.”

That is what this arms dealer was making in the UK, in order to kill people in the Middle East.

The members of Palestine Action object to these remote-control killers being built in Britain, and launched a sustained campaign against the Oldham factory in August 2020. On Monday (January 10), they celebrated victory.

According to the group’s press release, “After 18 months of sustained direct action taken at the Elbit Ferranti site in Oldham, Greater Manchester, with 36 people arrested, Elbit have now sold Ferranti technologies, with its continued operation in Oldham appearing unfeasible.

“Activists have occupied, blockaded, smashed, disrupted, and protested regularly at the site, ultimately succeeding in ending the factory’s production of specialist military technologies for Israel’s fleet of combat drones.”

Let’s be perfectly clear: This Site does not condone the employment of illegal methods to achieve a goal. But while 36 activists have been arrested at various times during the campaign, none have been successfully prosecuted for crimes of occupation, disruption and/or protest.

On the other hand, Elbit’s drones have been used to kill thousands of Palestinians. Who would you say occupies the moral high ground?

Former Labour MP, now leading light in the Resist movement, Chris Williamson is clear on the subject:

So is Asa Winstanley of The Electronic Intifada:

And so is This Writer.

Let’s hope Elbit’s other UK factories suffer similar misfortunes in the near future and these death-mongers are forced out of the UK for good.

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Corbyn to take legal action over faked photo. Will Tory councillor who posted it need a second job afterwards?

Jeremy Corbyn: he wasn’t amused.

Yes, the headline shamelessly mashes two current political news stories – and justifiably.

Last weekend, the Twitter account of a Conservative councillor from Yorkshire, Paul Nickerson, tweeted a faked photograph of Jeremy Corbyn laying a wreath next to the taxi that exploded outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital that day, with the comment: “Unsurprisingly”

No, I’m not going to post it again. If you really want to see it, read This Site’s previous story, here.

Nickerson himself has apologised for the tweet, which he claimed was a prank by others using his account, and the tweet has been deleted.

Whoever put it up, it is possible that they thought Mr Corbyn would take it on the chin. After all, he never took court action over all those anti-Semitism/terrorism support allegations, so he wasn’t likely to do anything about this, right?

Wrong.

According to the Islington Gazette,

In a short statement, Mr Corbyn said: “My solicitor has been notified and we are taking legal action.”

This takes me to the reference to second jobs – the hot topic among MPs, many of whom reckon they simply can’t survive on their salary of £82,000 (three times the national average) plus the most generous expenses scheme anybody can think of.

Nickerson isn’t a member of Parliament and, as far as I know, may not have a second job to supplement whatever allowance he receives as a Yorkshire councillor.

But, as I suggest in the headline, he may certainly wish he had one, if Mr Corbyn wins his case.

One does have to question whether anybody will employ him, though. Even his local Conservative group has suspended his membership.

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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Child charity says DWP is unlawfully demanding Universal Credit repayments

Any opportunity to persecute: the DWP has found a way to force suffering onto people who had to claim Universal Credit because of Covid-19.

This is another classic con from the Tory-run Department for Social Security.

Last year, the DWP suspended face-to-face identity checks for Universal Credit, in anticipation of a glut of claims as Covid-19 bit into people’s jobs.

But now the government department has reinstated identity checks – retrospectively – even demanding ID from people who have closed their claims and could not receive the notification.

As a result “significant” numbers of people have failed to provide this information within the DWP’s 14-day deadline and have been judged to have been overpaid amounts up to £13,000.

Worse, people who have uploaded proof of their identity to their online Universal Credit journal have discovered that their claim has still been terminated and demands made for repayment.

And to top it all off, the DWP has arranged with employers to have money deducted from claimants’ pay packets at a rate of up to 20 per cent of their earnings.

The Child Poverty Action Group is helping some of the people affected and said many of the cases involved people who were unaware the DWP wanted retrospective evidence because they were no longer claiming universal credit, and no longer checked their online journal for DWP messages.

CPAG said the DWP had presumed that claimants’ failure to respond to a request for evidence a year after they claimed meant they were not entitled to the award in the first place.

The charity says this behaviour by the DWP is unlawful.

The Guardian approached the DWP for comment and – in typical style – it avoided the issue.

A spokesperson asserted that it is “right and lawful” that the department seeks to recover payments to which claimants were not entitled.

It seems the DWP has nothing to say about the possibility that it is wrongly taking money from people who did not know that any attempt to contact them or prove their identity had been made – until money started disappearing from their bank accounts.

If cash went missing from my bank account, I would call it theft and take appropriate action.

But the best advice, for any of the 99,000 people who claimed Universal Credit and didn’t have a face-to-face interview, who hasn’t – to their knowledge – been contacted, is to get in touch with the DWP yourself.

Contact them by the fastest possible method to find out whether they want proof of ID. Provide some ID pre-emptively if you feel like it. And keep a personal record of the information you send, in case it is (accidentally?) deleted from the Universal Credit journal or a correspondence file.

Then, if anyone tries to deduct cash unilaterally, you’ll be able to provide evidence that you have done your part and it is the DWP that is at fault.

Turn the tables on them. That’ll be fun, won’t it?

Source: Universal credit claimants were sent unlawful demands to repay, says charity | Universal credit | The Guardian

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It’s time for people hit by the #LabourDataBreach to unite and demand answers

For the many? HOW many Labour Party members, ex-members, and even non-members have been affected by the massive data breach that happened at the end of October, of which the party only informed us a week later?

The (verbal) backlash against the loss of data affecting thousands of Labour Party members has been huge – but it is action that is needed.

This Writer has already suggested that a lawsuit is required – and some victims are suggesting that we (This Writer is among those affected) may each claim thousands of pounds in compensation.

But the question is: how do we take this forward?

Some have suggested that a Subject Access Request under General Data Protection Regulations should be made to the Labour Party, along the lines described by Philip Proudfoot:

If you want to go that way, then feel free. But I have already been down this route with the Labour Party and, even after calling in the Information Commissioner’s Office – the regulator overseeing data protection in the UK – it took two years to get a reply, and even then it was only partial.

The ICO was toothless because it then told me that if I wanted to take any matter forward, I should do it myself, through the courts, as has also happened to Simon Vessey, here:

So This Writer’s preference is that a large number of those affected should unite and launch legal action within the civil courts.

Already, people are coming up with ideas about how this can be done. I like this:

And of course the Left Legal Fighting Fund exists, if I recall correctly, to help people with cases like this. If everybody affected got together via this new Labour Data Breach website, and then donated towards a single court action via https://www.fightingfund.org, we might all gain access to a simple – and cheap – way of achieving justice.

It’s also – I believe – the only way we’ll force Labour to explain exactly what has happened.

ADDITIONAL: Another friend has contacted a different law firm for advice and will report back on what they are told:

And apparently the law firm mentioned in the tweet below is interested in representing people affected by the data breach – among many others, it seems. I would have thought it would be more cost-effective to hire a single firm, collectively.

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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Tories lift unfair threat to doctors over face-to-face appointments

Don’t sweat it, Sajid: really, this image should show egg on his face but we can’t have everything we want, can we?

The GP strike is off – for the moment.

You’ll remember This Site reporting last week that GPs in England were threatening to strike after Sajid Javid wanted to compel them to hold face-to-face appointments with anybody who wants one – and threatened to publicly humiliate surgeries that didn’t meet targets he would impose.

Well… it seems Javid has discovered that a week in politics really is a long time.

After the threats and counter-threats, appointment figures for September have been published – showing that GPs have already conducted a significantly higher number of face-to-face appointments.

Remember, they started doing this before Javid made his ridiculous threat.

According to The Guardian,

Figures from NHS Digital show that 28.5m appointments were estimated to have taken place in September – about 8% higher than for the same month in 2019, and up around 3m on the figure for August.

Of the appointments made in September, 43.2% took place on the same day they were booked and 61% were in person. This 17.3m total for face-to-face contacts is the highest figure recorded since February 2020 and is up by about 3.5m on the figure for August, when 58% of appointments were face-to-face, the data suggests.

It’s still fewer than the 80 per cent of appointments that were face-to-face before the arrival of the Covid crisis…

But it was enough to cause a shamefaced Department of Health and Social Care to withdraw its threat to publish monthly “league table” data showing what proportion of surgery appointments occur in person or virtually,

according to sources.

Oh, and

An NHS source claimed “naming and shaming” GPs carrying out low levels of face-to-face appointments had never been included in the plans, only that “appropriate levels of face-to-face appointments for patients based on local need must be delivered”. The NHS source added that “while more localised access data will be published, the plan does not include ‘naming and shaming’”.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter now that it isn’t going to happen anyway, does it?

Source: GPs win ‘significant concessions’ from NHS England over in-person access | GPs | The Guardian