Tag Archives: award

Why are the Tories letting schools face 200% energy bill price rise?

A class at school: but what will happen to education if this institution has to divert all its resources, simply into paying its heating bill?

It’s as though the energy price rise is being used to drain the UK of all its resources – including education, which is still (mostly) run by the government.

Schools are facing energy price rises of more than 200 per cent – with more to come – and they can’t just turn off the lights or the radiators in rooms that aren’t being used, or take a £400 government subsidy like households.

And schools are also being asked to make pay awards for which the government has provided no extra funding at all.

(And this is the background against which Liz Truss wants to make tax cuts?)

It’s bizarre that the government has allowed this to happen. Look at France, where price increases are capped at four per cent, no matter what; this is a political choice to harm the education of millions of UK children:

Without additional funding, school leaders are warning of redundancies, bigger class sizes and cuts to the curriculum, which they say could damage children’s education for years to come.

Kenneth Baker, who was education secretary from 1986 to 1989, said schools would go into the red without government intervention. “We’re heading into a really ghastly two-year period and it’s going to require remarkable leadership to come out of this smiling,” he said.

Like the funding we need to pay these bills, remarkable leadership is absent from the UK’s current Tory government.

Read the full nightmare scenario: Leading Tories call on new PM to tackle crisis facing schools over soaring costs

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe wins Magnitsky Award for bravery. British media ignore it

Free Nazanin: Richard Ratcliffe (right) with his and Nazanin’s daughter Gabriella – and their message. What a shame neither the UK government nor its client media are listening.

Why did This Writer have to find this news item on Euronews (whatever that is) rather than a UK news website like the BBC? Because the Tory government is embarrassed at its own lack of action?

(In fairness, I did see a line about it on the BBC News tickertape yesterday evening, November 18. Why has there been no full story, though?)

We all know the background, at least – don’t we?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned in Iran in 2016, on false charges. When, as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson tried to intervene, he made matters worse by mistakenly saying she had done the act of which she had been accused.

Since then, Johnson has allowed Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations between the UK and Iran over more than £400 million owed to the Middle East country in an arms deal that fell through after the revolution there in the 1970s.

Tory former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt made an impassioned speech, demanding the return of that cash, earlier this week. But he probably knew that he was just blowing hot air into the Parliamentary atmosphere.

A more substantial contribution to the campaign for Nazanin was Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on the need for her to be freed, along with other prisoners in a similar situation in Iran:

One would have expected Nazanin winning a major human rights award would have been an even stronger contribution to her cause. Clearly the UK news media – like the Tory government – aren’t interested in human rights.

The Magnitsky Awards recognise “brave journalists, politicians and activists in the field of human rights and anticorruption”. They are named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was killed in Russian police custody in 2009 after exposing government corruption.

She won the award for Courage Under Fire.

It was accepted on her behalf by her daughter Gabriella, who read out a statement from her mother (which I reproduce in two parts because these are the video clips available to me):

Sadly the lack of interest in Nazanin’s case suggests that she is still facing an indefinite wait.

Her husband Richard recently ended a 21-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in London. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – and, it is understood, Johnson himself – walked past him without even acknowledging his existence.

And now we see only minimal interest from the national press, who seem far more interested in attempting to help Johnson distance himself from the corruption in which he and his government are mired.

It isn’t good enough. Current affairs are not a soap opera. Real lives are in the balance.

Real news reporters don’t brush those facts under the carpet.

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Iran detainee wins Magnitsky Award for bravery | Euronews

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Does accusation=guilt as Patchwork Foundation vetoes Chris Williamson’s nomination as MP of the Year?

Chris Williamson.

A charity that self-describes as “strengthening democracy” has undermined its own work by vetoing the nomination of Chris Williamson as a candidate for its ‘MP of the Year’ award.

The Patchwork Foundation, which claims to encourage the positive integration of disadvantaged and minority communities into British democracy and civil society, pushed Mr Williamson off the list because his membership of the Labour Party has been suspended pending an investigation into claims of anti-Semitism. This is despite the fact that he continues his work as an outstanding constituency MP.

A letter from the organisation states:

“Our MP of the Year Awards seek to celebrate and recognise those MPs that uphold the ethos and values of the Fooundation; to champion underrepresented, minority or disadvantaged communities in the UK.

“MPs under investigation or suspension would not be included. As such, Chris Williamson’s nomination could not be taken forward this year, as he is currently suspended from the Labour Party.”

Here it is:

What message does this send to disadvantaged and minority communities? “Don’t get accused of anything because the establishment – including this organisation – will automatically assume that you are guilty”? “We will pre-judge you on anything that is said about you”? “Don’t dare try to make a difference because you will be punished”?

That’s what it says to me.

By getting on the witch-hunt’s bandwagon, it seems clear that the Patchwork Foundation has abandoned all hope of running a fair contest and whoever wins – no matter how good an MP he or she may be – will have to face the fact that they may have won it unfairly.

Mr Williamson has been gracious about it:

Some of those who nominated him are less pleased:

What do you think?

Is it reasonable that people should be denied an opportunity to show support for others they believe have been falsely accused, simply because they have been accused?

Or is this an example of Establishment figures clustering together to ostracise the innocent?

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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Stand-up comic who played Daniel Blake wins prestigious acting award

Dave Johns.

Dave Johns.

This Writer has no personal experience to indicate whether the award is well-deserved or not as I, Daniel Blake has yet to be screened in the wilds of Mid Wales.

That being said, the reaction to the movie, its themes and message all suggest very strongly that Mr Johns is indeed a worthy recipient and to be congratulated for his work in bringing the plight of sick and disabled benefit claimants to the attention of the world.

Note also the ‘most promising newcomer’ award for co-star Hayley Squires.

Comedian Dave Johns has won his first major acting award.

The veteran stand-up scooped best actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his role in the Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake.

The movie, in which Johns plays a widowed carpenter who can’t get his benefits following a heart attack, previously won the prestigious Palme D’Or at Cannes.

But this is his first acting accolade. He has also been nominated in the European Film Awards, which will be handed out next weekend.

Speaking after collecting the BIFA award tonight, he said: ”I’ve been a stand-up for 27 years and no one knows who I was. Now I’ve done my first film and it’s been incredible.’ He added that the comedy circuit had been ‘amazingly supportive’ of his career change.

Johns’s co-star Hayley Squires won most promising newcomer.

Source: Dave Johns lands his first acting award

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