Tag Archives: ban

Rees-Mogg’s hypocrisy over England-Wales travel ban is borderline schizoid

Rees-Mogg: doesn’t he look properly psychotic in this image? Little did we know that it reflects his actual personality. Or did we..?

See what I did there? No? Allow me to explain:

Jacob Rees-Mogg has supported to the hilt plans that would put permanent borders within the United Kingdom – in the middle of the Irish Sea and on the inland border of Kent.

But he reckons a plan by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford to ban entry into that country by people from other areas of the UK with higher Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is “unconstitutional”.

It isn’t; it simply puts those other parts of the UK in the same situation as those parts of Wales that are under more stringent restrictions and Drakeford is well within his rights to impose this temporary rule.

It seems, regarding internal borders, Rees-Mogg is schizoid – he is literally of two minds.

Here’s Nation.Cymru:

Jacob Rees Mogg replied: “What would you expect of a hard-left Labour Government?

“The approach to putting a border between England and Wales is unconstitutional and will place the police in an invidious position considering that they serve the whole of the United Kingdom.

“We are one single United Kingdom and we should not have… borders between different parts of the United Kingdom.

“And I’m afraid that is what you get when you vote for socialists.”

He did not offer any evidence that the Welsh Government’s plan was unconstitutional. Health is a devolved issue in Wales and can be legislated upon by the Welsh Parliament.

Police are not devolved but organised on an England and Wales, Scottish, and Northern Irish basis.

The measures regarding people coming to Wales from England are the same as those that exist between Welsh authorities.

You can see him making his comment here:

Phew, what a loony!

“Hard-left Labour government”? Rees-Mogg’s own constituency of Bath and North-East Somerset is very close to Wales. All he has to do is cross a bridge to realise that this is not a country full of Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Drakeford himself always struck me as being more of the ‘New Labour’ persuasion than a socialist. Perhaps he’ll take the hint from Rees-Mogg and adopt a more left-wing policy from now on (that would be welcome).

Realistically, we could suggest that Rees-Mogg’s attitude is that of the spoilt boy who finds that someone else has been playing with his toys; perhaps he thought nobody else was allowed to do as Drakeford has – now he knows better.

Alternatively, he’s mad as a bag of cats.

Our friends in the social media have an opinion about that, of course:

Come to that, so do a few people from Wales itself:

Of course it is perfectly permissible to travel out of Wales in order to give Rees-Mogg a verbal battering.

And if you don’t travel through any English Covid hotspots, it’s perfectly permissible to travel back in again.

The only people under any restrictions are those who should not be travelling anyway.

So this Tory fool is making a fuss about nothing.

Source: Rees-Mogg incorrectly claims new Welsh Covid-19 restrictions are ‘unconstitutional’ – Nation.Cymru

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Tories have Commons Twitter account banned from tweeting vote results

He fought propagandists – but did he expect his own party to become the enemy? Churchill’s statue stares toward Parliament. If it was the man himself, it would probably turn its back in disgust.

Can you believe this? The Tories have contrived to have the House of Commons Twitter account stopped from tweeting vote results – because Johnson’s party said it was biased against them.

The House of Commons Twitter account has been banned from tweeting the results of votes after Tory MPs complained it was breaking impartiality rules when one tweet went viral.

During the passage of the trade bill, intended to pave the way for post-Brexit trade deals, the Commons Twitter account shared the outcomes of votes on amendments and new clauses: a 326-263 defeat for a clause relating “to parliamentary approval of trade agreements”, and approval without division for amendments about “sharing information and ministerial functions relating to trade”.

The descriptions were taken from the explanatory statement written by the MP who proposed the motion, and the tweet about new clause 17 was no different. That clause, the tweet said, was “intended to protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK”, explaining that it had been defeated 340 votes to 251.

The defeat allowed Labour to argue that Conservative MPs had voted against protecting the NHS from overseas control. The tweet itself was a key piece of evidence, which is why it gained 5,000 likes and almost 17,500 retweets in less than 24 hours.

That drew the attention of Tory MPs, who were bombarded with questions from constituents about why they had voted against such protection. The day after, MPs from the party made a complaint to the clerk of the House, the politically neutral civil servant who oversees the work of the support staff, including the social media team.

They argued that the tweet was in breach of the Commons’ requirement for impartiality. By the end of the day, the Commons team had deleted it and posted an apology.

So it was perfectly permissible for the offending words to be published in the explanatory statement by the MP who proposed the motion; the Tories just didn’t want them to get to the public.

What does that tell us about the Conservative government?

That they don’t want us to have full information about what happens in Parliament?

That they think Parliamentary media should not provide information to the public?

That they want such media to offer pro-Tory propaganda instead?

Johnson and his cronies have really taken the Josef Goebbels method to heart.

But the act has been a huge turn-off to the public – including This Writer (but you’d expect that, I’m sure):

I would have thought the answer was obvious: a would-be fascist dictatorship. But Johnson’s Tories are even failures at that.

Source: Commons Twitter account banned from tweeting vote results | Politics | The Guardian

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Schools are now for indoctrination, not education, as teaching of non-capitalist ideology is forbidden

Education secretary Gavin Williamson: he’s too stupid to realise the best way to get people interested in something is by banning it.

Boris Johnson’s government has lurched further towards fascism with an edict banning any anti-capitalist ideology from schools.

Any ideology other than capitalism is to be considered an “extreme political stance” from now on, according to guidance issued by the Department for Education and its secretary of state, Gavin Williamson.

Resources from organisations that have expressed a desire to end capitalism are henceforth to be considered equal to opposition to freedom of speech, anti-Semitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

As former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said, the measures effectively outlawed reference in schools to key events in British history, and symbolised growing authoritarianism within the governing Conservative party.

McDonnell said: “On this basis it will be illegal to refer to large tracts of British history and politics including the history of British socialism, the Labour Party and trade unionism, all of which have at different times advocated the abolition of capitalism.

“This is another step in the culture war and this drift towards extreme Conservative authoritarianism is gaining pace and should worry anyone who believes that democracy requires freedom of speech and an educated populace.”

Totalitarianism is nearer the mark.

Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said the guidance showed “how easy it is to lose a country, to slip surreptitiously into totalitarianism”.

He added: “Imagine an educational system that banned schools from enlisting into their curricula teaching resources dedicated to the writings of British writers like William Morris, Iris Murdoch, Thomas Paine even. Well, you don’t have to. Boris Johnson’s government has just instructed schools to do exactly that.”

Of course Mr Varoufakis will be among the first to be banned:

Critics of the new policy have come out in force.

Emyr Lewis added a few names to the list of banned authors: “We’ll have no more of your William Blake, your Shelley, your George Bernard Shaw, your D. H. Lawrence…”

And here’s mention of one highly notable person that the Tories ought to ban, if they’re serious:

This, from Jessica Simor QC, makes the point that the Tory government itself has broken its new guidance on multiple occasions:

How about this:

This makes the point in coarser terms:

Opinions of the Johnson government have been… frank:

Rohit K Dasgupta put it mildly, commenting on Tory racism: “Teachers: Rosie has 10 apples and gives Rashid 4. How many apples does Rosie have now? DfE: Stop that at once. This is straight up communism. Rashid has to prove he is a legal immigrant and can buy those apples.”

Then there’s this:

But there is an optimistic side to this. Here‘s Martin O’Neill:

Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching”. – My optimistic prediction is that this will backfire spectacularly. This government are creating a generation that will forever despise them and everything they represent.

And it is creating a generation that will want to know why alternatives to capitalism are being banned from schools.

This Writer certainly intends to put as much information about those alternatives into the public sphere as possible.

I’m happy to take suggestions too.

Source: Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching | Education | The Guardian

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Spectators told ‘stay away’ from St Leger after This Site’s story about it

Jam-packed: This is how the crowd at the St Leger event in Doncaster usually looks. With Covid-19 back on the rise in the UK, Boris Johnson’s Tory government was happy to allow it to go ahead. Fortunately, the local authority was more interested in public safety than private profit.

This Writer would love to take credit for the latest u-turn but I don’t really think it is anything to do with me.

Shortly after This Site asked whether the decision to impose new Covid-19-related restrictions on public gatherings after the weekend had anything to do with the St Leger horse racing event being during the weekend, organisers were told to forbid entry to the public in any event.

I had pointed out the extraordinary business interests in horse racing held by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and ‘Test and Trace’ boss Dido Harding.

As MP for horse racing centre Newmarket, he receives significant donations from the horse racing industry, while she is a director of the Jockey Club.

So it seemed reasonable to ask whether these facts had anything to do with the delay in the new restriction. Many others have pointed out that you can’t do a deal with Covid-19 to wait until after the weekend, after all.

And we should all be reminded that the Cheltenham Festival, in March, was allowed to stay open to the public – and expert evidence suggested that this led to “increased suffering and death”.

In the end, it seems, any personal interests people like Hancock, Harding, or indeed Boris Johnson may have in the St Leger turned out to be immaterial:

Doncaster Racecourse has been told by local health officials to stop spectators attending its St Leger meeting after Wednesday’s opening day.

“On the grounds of public health and public safety I have instructed the course to hold the St Leger Festival behind closed doors from tomorrow,” said Dr Rupert Suckling, director of Public Health for Doncaster.

So any corrupt or greed-motivated reasons for delaying the restriction have been thwarted.

Good. It is the right decision for the health of the nation.

Source: Doncaster Racecourse told to stop spectators attending St Leger meeting – BBC Sport

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Social gatherings to be banned: are the Tories using Covid to make themselves the fun police?

Closed: social gatherings for more than six people will be banned from September 14, with only a few exceptions – because the Tories are clamping down on fun.

Some people may be pleased by the introduction of a ban on social gatherings for more than six people after September 14 – but it won’t stop the Covid-19 spike currently raging through the UK.

All it will do is confirm that Boris Johnson and his gang are using the pandemic to stop anybody in the wider population from having a good time.

Just look at what the new rule covers:

A new legal limit will ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, No 10 said.

But it will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply with police, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.

Where are people most likely to catch the disease? Schools, workplaces and on their way to and from them.

This measure will not stop the second wave at all.

But it will stop us having fun – and it will stop us getting together to complain about the fact that our country is being run by a moronic gang of entitled fat-heads.

A new dark age is descending on the UK.

Source: Coronavirus: Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September – BBC News

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Tory u-turn over eviction ban – but is it really the reprieve renters needed?

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Faced with a widespread campaign, supported by the media, the Tories have done what they always do – and u-turned on the plan to restore tenant evictions.

Landlords would have been able to evict tenants from August 24 – for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in March.

But now the Tories have extended the ban… for just one month.

Why so short a period? And what’s going on with all the conditions and caveats they’ve applied?

Apparently, after the ban ends, landlords won’t be able to evict anybody for a further six months – until March 2021 – because they’ll only be able to issue notice of evictions from the new date the ban ends (September 20).

So when is the ban actually ending? September 2020 or March 2021?

And Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said possession cases brought by landlords will be heard again “when the courts reopen” – after the summer vacation? After lockdown restrictions are lifted? Where’s the clarity.

It is fair enough that what Jenrick calls “the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators” be handled as soon as possible.

But I wonder exactly what will be done for renters who are falling behind on their payments during the four week delay that couldn’t be done during the previous six months.

People need protection from losing their homes; they are more vulnerable to it now than at any time since This Writer was born.

But most of that vulnerability has been created by Conservative politics.

So what are the Tories going to do? And why haven’t they done it already?

Source: Eviction ban extended for another month in last-minute government u-turn – Mirror Online

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New lockdown sex rule seems pointless

Closed: from June 1, nobody will be legally able to open their doors to a sex partner from another household. Isn’t it a bit late for that?

For people like Rosie Duffield and Neil Ferguson, this is probably fixing the barn door after the horse has shot his bolt (or whatever the phrase is).

For the rest of us who have been observing lockdown rules, it seems pointless.

We were told to stay in our homes from the moment lockdown started in the middle of March, and to stay at least two metres away from anybody else.

So even if we wanted to do the naughty, we haven’t had the opportunity. And this new rule that sex in our houses with someone from another household is illegal is superfluous.

In fact, the only visitors anybody is likely to have had – within rules, since they were laid down – are neighbours’ cats. And while they might appeal to a certain kind of person… well, the less said about that, the better.

In any case, if people have been breaking lockdown to have some fun, then any transmission of Covid-19 will have happened already.

Am I missing something?

Source: Sex in your house with a person from another household illegal from tomorrow – Mirror Online

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After the report, the backlash: Facebook bans posts on Vox Political page due to vexatious complaint

In context: The image that Facebook said showed support for “dangerous individuals or organisations”. Do you think that’s what it does?

This is utterly despicable.

After This Site’s article on the Labour Party’s 851-page report into the way anti-Semitism complaints weren’t investigated by a right-wing team – whose factional opoposition of Jeremy Corbyn led them to do nothing in a bid to make him look incompetent, Facebook has banned This Writer from posting on the Vox Political page hosted by that platform.

But get this – it isn’t because of the link to my article about the Labour report. No, it’s because someone complained about an article I published nearly four years ago.

I received the following message today:

“You can’t post or comment for 30 days
“This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards.

“Vox Political
“14 September 2016 ·

“Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

How we make decisions

“We use either technology or a review team to remove anything that doesn’t follow our standards as quickly as possible.

“We use the same Community Standards around the world for everyone on Facebook.

“Different regions of the world have their own review teams trained on the standards.

“We don’t allow symbols, praise or support of dangerous individuals or organisations on Facebook.

“We define dangerous as things such as:

• Terrorist activity
• Organised hate
• Mass or serial murder
• Human trafficking
• Organised violence or criminal activity

“Because your post goes against our Community Standards on dangerous individuals and organisations, only people who manage Vox Political can see it.

Accept Decision
“You won’t be able to request a review and we’ll update other people who manage Vox Political.

Disagree with decision
“We use your feedback to make improvements on future decisions.

“We usually offer the chance to request a review, and follow up if we got decisions wrong.

“We have fewer reviewers available at the moment because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re trying hard to prioritise reviewing content with the most potential for harm.

“This means we may not be able to follow up with you, but your feedback will help us do better in the future.

Thank you for understanding.

I didn’t understand – and I told them so in no uncertain terms:

“Your Community Standards system has stopped working properly.

“Its team has banned me from posting on my page Vox Political because of a link I posted on September 14, 2016: : Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

“I believe the decision was based on the image accompanying the link, which was the image that had led to Clement Attlee’s nephew’s suspension. If I am right then it shows your community standards team has no understanding of satire either.

“The claim is that, in posting it, I am showing praise for dangerous individuals or organisations but this is nonsense.

“The image is a commentary on then-UK prime minister David Cameron. It depicts him as Adolf Hitler, and quotes Hitler saying the best way to remove people’s rights is piecemeal, because then they do not realise their rights have been removed until the time they could successfully get them back is long past. It was a comment on Mr Cameron’s policies at the time and was an expression of opposition to those policies – not of support for either him or Hitler (who I suspect was the “dangerous individual or organisation” implied in your notice banning me from posting.

“I supply a screenshot of the image, in its place in the article. Clearly your Community Standards team never bothered to visit the article or read it, as this would have made the matter perfectly clear.

“Please restore my ability to post to my page IMMEDIATELY and explain why you allow your Community Standards team to ban people from posting on their pages on the basis of such poor evidence-gathering, which is utterly unacceptable from an organisation that claims to act responsibly.

“As the article that appears to have caused the offence is now nearly four years old, I am guessing that Facebook must have received a complaint about it. Who issued that complaint? Will you be taking action against them, or at least refusing to accept any further vexatious complaints from them?”

I note that Labour’s report (The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019) states on page 847: “Currently, half of all antisemitism complaints the Labour Party receives come from one individual, who is trawling social media for evidence.”

I wonder if the complaint to Facebook originated with the same individual.

Interestingly, Labour’s report appears to describe this individual as one “who is highly abusive towards Party staff and Party members and submits large numbers of poorly formatted and poorly evidenced complaints”. The report’s author then tries to make it seem praiseworthy that Labour is giving such a deranged individual the time of day.

If the complaints are similar to this, both Labour and Facebook should not only refuse to countenance any further correspondence from this individual, but should name and shame that person – to ensure they cannot spread their poison any further.

Who is it, Labour? Who is it, Facebook? Tell us now.

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Coronavirus: Johnson botches ban on evictions

Johnson apologists: don’t you dare try to blame this on the fact that the bungling buffoon has managed to catch himself a dose of coronavirus. That’s his own fault too.

He promised to stop landlords from evicting tenants who can’t pay their rent for reasons connected with the coronavirus – but his legislation doesn’t include a ban.

Instead, landlords are barred from beginning court proceedings to move tenants out from today (March 27) – for a period of “at least three months”.

But any proceedings that have already begun will be allowed to continue.

And landlords will be able to inform tenants of an intention to kick them out from late June.

As Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “It does not stop people losing their homes as a result of coronavirus…

It just gives them some extra time to pack their bags.

Source: Coronavirus: Eviction notices will still ‘drop on renters doorsteps’ during pandemic, warn campaigners | The Independent

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Tory candidates banned from pledges on NHS or climate – so BOTH are in danger

Doesn’t this say everything about the two-faced Tories?

While they tell us they will protect our National Health Service and fight climate change, the Conservative Party leadership has told its candidates not to make any promises about either of them.

The message is clear: The Tories will sell our NHS. And they will pursue policies that will harm the environment beyond the point of no return.

There is only one way to stop this insanity:

A Labour government.

Conservative candidates in the general election will be told not to sign up to specific pledges on protecting the NHS from privatisation and trade deals or tackling climate change, according to a leaked internal document from party headquarters.

The issues on which candidates have been told to avoid signing up to pledges include:

  • Trade deals with the NHS. The memo warns candidates to avoid signing any pledges to “protect our NHS from trade deals with new legislation which ends privatisation”. It says this kind of pledge would “give credence to factually inaccurate smears … The NHS is not for sale.” It says candidates should focus instead on “Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to override the British people on Brexit”.
  • Climate change. Tory candidates are told that many campaigns to tackle climate change “contain unrealistic targets that would be impossible to achieve” and that it would be better to focus on “practical, reasonable steps to protect our planet while keeping bills down”. The memo claims Labour does not have a credible approach to the problem
  • Women’s state pension age. This highly charged issue could be a significant factor for women in the general election as the age for receiving a state pension rises from 60 to 65. Boris Johnson has promised to review the change, but the memo urges candidates not to engage on the issue. “Avoid signing [pledges],” it says. “Changes to the state pension age are part of a long overdue move towards gender equality and will put the pensions system on a more sustainable footing for future generations.”
  • Standing up for Brexit. The memo says it is unnecessary to pledge to stand up for Brexit because “a Conservative government with a functioning majority will immediately get Brexit done”.

Source: Don’t sign pledges on NHS or climate, Tory HQ tells candidates | Politics | The Guardian

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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