Tag Archives: bodies

Are Israelis stealing organs for transplant from the bodies of Palestinians in Gaza?

This Writer is ill, so I haven’t had time to do much research on this. However: it seems there are claims that agents of Israel are stealing organs for transplant from the bodies of Palestinians in Gaza:

There are a lot of false claims around this.

One is that there is no point in harvesting organs from the dead and a body must be alive for them to be taken; this is not true. They can be harvested up to 48 hours after death.

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Another is that Israel steals organs from the bodies of others because Jewish people need to be buried whole, according to their religion; this is not true either. Organs may be harvested because the preservation of life takes priority over all other religious commandments.

According to Euronews,

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Sunday it had “concerns” about possible organ theft from Palestinian corpses, following reports by medical professionals in Gaza who examined some bodies after they were released by Israel.

The NGO claimed it has documented Israeli forces confiscating dozens of dead bodies from the al-Shifa and Indonesian hospitals in northern Gaza, alongside others in the south.

Medical professionals reportedly found vital organs, such as livers, kidneys and hearts, alongside cochleas and corneas, were missing, which the Euro-Med Monitor called “evidence” of potential organ theft.

They also claimed Israel exhumed and confiscated corpses from a mass grave that was dug more than 10 days ago in a courtyard at al-Shifa.

Israel has previously denied harvesting organs from dead Palestinians without the consent of families, calling such accusations “antisemitic”.

Organ theft cannot be proven or disproven by forensic medical examination alone since multiple bodies underwent surgery prior to death, doctors at several Gaza hospitals were cited as saying by Euro-Med.

A full examination of the recovered corpses is not possible given the intense Israeli attacks on Gaza, they claimed. This follows comments by Palestinian health officials in Gaza that they can no longer even count the dead because the enclave’s health system has collapsed.

In her book Over Their Dead Bodies, Israeli doctor Meira Weiss claimed organs were taken from dead Palestinians between 1996 and 2002 and used in medical research at Israeli universities and transplanted into Israeli patients’ bodies.

A controversial Israeli television investigation in 2014 included confessions from high-ranking officials that skin was taken from the bodies of dead Palestinians and African workers to treat Israelis, such as soldiers with burn injuries.

In it, the director of the Israeli Skin Bank revealed the country’s reserve of “human skin” reached 17 square meters – a huge number relative to Israel’s population.

Israel is thought to be the biggest hub for the illegal global trade in human organs, according to a 2008 investigation by the American CNN network.

The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel has not ratified, requires combatants to respect the dignity of the dead, including preventing despoiling, mutilation, or any disrespectful treatment of their bodies.

Euro-Med also accused Israel of holding the remains of dozens of Palestinians killed during its military operation in Gaza since 7 October, though some have been handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This is considered by some a punitive practice to deny families the chance of burying their loved ones.

Refusing to hand over the bodies of the dead to grieving families for burial may amount to collective punishment, which again is forbidden under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Euro-Med monitor pointed out.

Burying the dead is considered a fundamental and significant religious duty in Islam, which carries deep cultural and spiritual significance.

Propaganda can be spread by both sides in a war.

It may be that Israel is innocent of this crimes.

But the available evidence suggests otherwise. Wouldn’t you agree?


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The Tories want the UK to become a criminal state – for the sake of some money?

A lamppost sticker promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions. Note that it demands “justice for Palestine” and makes no anti-Semitic statements.

Conservative government legislation will turn the UK into a criminal state in the international community – and it seems certain that it is being done so some Tories and their friends can make some money out of it.

Does that make you feel dirty – slimily, greasily, grubbily, maggots-in-your-food dirty?

It should.

The Bill that has caught public attention most vividly today is the innocently-titled Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill that specifically forbids public bodies like local councils from taking into account human rights abuses committed by foreign governments when making decisions, including on procurement of goods and services.

The Bill specifically forbids such public bodies from ever refusing to take goods and services from Israel, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and/or the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, no matter what atrocities are committed there.

Here’s an atrocity that was committed there yesterday (Monday, July 3, 2023). During an apparently-unprovoked attack on the Palestinian city of Jenin, which contains a refugee camp that crams 14,000 people into a space less than half a square kilometre in size, this happened:

The Economic Activity… Bill makes it illegal for public bodies to protest against atrocities like this in the only meaningful way available to them – by refusing to do business with firms from Israel or operating as Israeli firms in the occupied territories.

Legal opinion shows that the Bill is so badly-constructed that it will make the UK an internationally criminal state, with all the possible consequences this may create.

So why inflict it on a nation that doesn’t want it (we demand our right to oppose injustice wherever we see it, including in the actions of a rogue state like Israel) and will suffer for it internationally?

The only reason This Writer can find is that the trade it will generate will bring money to Conservative MPs or their friends – bosses of firms that will then donate money to them.

I wonder whether discussions to that effect have taken place between UK government or Conservative Party representatives and government or business people in Israel.

Let’s put some flesh on the bones of this argument.

Lisa Nandy, Labour’s Shadow Levelling-Up Secretary, together with Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, commissioned legal advice on the Bill from one David Hermer KC. His response was lengthy but I will try to distil it into the essentials:

This very poorly drafted Bill is likely to have a detrimental impact on the United Kingdom’s ability to protect and promote human rights overseas, is in certain respects inconsistent with our obligations under international law, will stifle free speech at home (in a manner incompatible with Article 10 of the ECHR), will take powers long exercised by local authorities into the hands of the Secretary of State and will likely lead to an array of illogical outcomes.

Many of the key provisions of this very poorly drafted Bill are deeply troubling from both a domestic and international law perspective. The implications for local democracy, for the proud history in our regions of campaigning for global human rights, for using our economic clout for the promotion of human rights, for free speech in this country and for compliance with our international law obligations are potentially profound.

The driving force behind the Bill is to address the ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ campaign (hereinafter ‘BDS’) directed against Israel. The Bill is objectionable irrespective of whether one considers BDS to be thoroughly reprehensible or conversely a legitimate form of non-violent protest.

Irrespective of whether this Bill is enacted, all public bodies are already prohibited in law from pursuing policies, or taking any actions that are directly, or indirectly, antisemitic or otherwise discriminate against Jewish people. These protections… are all enforceable by the Courts.

So the Bill does nothing to counter anti-Semitism; protections against that are already in place.

There would appear to be at least two possible interpretations of what conduct is intended to be prohibited:

Interpretation 1 is that the Bill is directed at the policies of foreign governments only in so far as they relate to territorial disputes, or disputes limited to particular territories, whether they be internal or external territories to the foreign government.

Interpretation 2 is that it the Bill prohibits any relevant decisions based on moral or political disapproval of a foreign government. On balance, I consider that a court would determine that this is the correct interpretation of the clause… This … is supported by the fact that Israel (i.e. an entire country) is specified … in addition to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (hereinafter the ‘OPT’) and the Golan Heights.

Assuming Interpretation 1 applies then it would create an artificial distinction between acts borne of moral/political concerns arising out a territorial dispute (prohibited) and acts motivated by non-territorial based moral/political concerns (untouched by the Act). By way of example, the Bill would not impact a decision to refuse to buy certain goods from China because of its general disregard for human rights but would render unlawful a decision not to buy cotton goods from Xinjiang because of the crimes against the Uighur people2. That is because only the latter decision would be based on a consideration ‘relating to a territory’.

This is utterly illogical and exemplifies the dangers of seeking to introduce legislation of general effect in order to address a specific discrete concern. Even more starkly, the Bill would not prevent a local authority from refusing to buy any Israeli products for reasons unconnected to a territorial consideration – for example, because of discriminatory practices against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship living within the Green Line. That is because the discrimination is not one based on a territorial consideration but rather once based on race. Ironically therefore, the Bill (if Interpretation 1 applies) would in reality increase the prospects of public authorities making decisions based on the internal domestic policies of Israel rather than concerns about treatment/status of Palestinians in the OPT.

Assuming that Interpretation 2 applies, then … it will preclude public authorities from having regard to any human rights violations of a foreign government when making relevant decisions. Save for the limited exceptions provided for in the Schedule, it would at a stroke preclude public bodies from taking into account a range of deplorable conduct of a foreign state from genocide, unlawful military invasions, war crimes, other crimes against humanity and racial discrimination etc. On the face of the Bill this would preclude a council from refusing to purchase goods from Russian occupied Ukraine, or from Myanmar, or North Korea or any country on the basis of disapproval of their systemic human rights violations. Had legislation of this nature been in effect in the 1980s it would have rendered it unlawful to refuse to source goods from apartheid South Africa.

The enactment of the Bill would seriously hamper any public body exercising an ethical approach to (at least) its purchases and investments.

So if Interpretation 1 applies, then the Bill encourages public bodies to refuse goods from Israel on the grounds of any ill-treatment of non-Jewish people living within the internationally-accepted borders of that country. This would not be hard as a relatively-recent law there has turned everybody who isn’t Jewish into a second-class citizen.

And if Interpretation 2 applies (which is more likely), then the UK becomes a supporter of genocide, unlawful military invasions, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and most reprehensibly racial discrimination – the very behaviour that the Bill ostensibly seeks to curtail.

Many would be proud of the role played by local authorities in this country to oppose the South African apartheid regime. These acts have been propelled not simply by morality but by the perception that boycotts and other economic measures can have a positive impact on the promotion of human rights globally.

The prohibition … cannot logically be justified on the basis that it will always be inappropriate per se for public bodies to base their decisions on disapproval of a foreign country’s conduct. That is because the Bill itself recognises that in certain specified circumstances (i.e. those provided for in the Schedule) it will be entirely appropriate to take such steps.

What the Bill does … is remove the power of local authorities to make those decisions for themselves. Rather the decision is now vested solely in the hands of the Secretary of State although even then s/he is absolutely barred from making an exception in respect of Israel, the OPT or the Golan Heights.

In placing the power of exemption solely in the hands of the Secretary of State the Bill effectively infantilises all other public bodies, many of whom have a long history of using their economic purchasing powers in order to avoid supporting human rights violations and/or to pressurise foreign countries to adopt change. This would seem at odds with the general tenor of Government policy to decentralise power. It would also seem impervious to the democratic and legal restraints that already operate on public bodies such as local authorities. Not only are voters able to influence decision making processes in local government (often in a far more direct way than permitted in our parliamentary system) but they are also able to effect change through the ballot box. Similarly, decisions of local authorities which are discriminatory, or outwith their powers, or unreasonable are subject to reversal through judicial review and legal campaigning.

So – again – there are already protections against public bodies misusing their powers.

The ultimate sanction of effecting change through the ballot box is one that should have given the Tories who drafted this Bill cause for serious reconsideration. That it did not suggests an extremely cavalier attitude to election results.

History has shown the capricious consequences that flow when powers of this nature are removed from hundreds of public bodies and placed exclusively in the hands of one decision maker. During the apartheid regime local authorities in the UK played a prominent and powerful role in the South Africa boycott campaign. Had this Bill been in force during the 1980s this would have been very likely deemed unlawful and no exemption granted in light of the position of the then Prime Minister that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist and the apartheid regime was an ally.

In other words, if enacted in the 1980s, this Bill would have made the UK a staunch supporter of the racist regime in South Africa. It is even possible that, with such tangible support from Thatcher, apartheid may have remained in place to this day.

Whilst the Schedule provides some very limited … exemptions (labour rights, bribery and environment) it does not include other human rights abuses such as genocide, the systemic use of torture, other crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention. From an international law perspective these are distinctions without any logical basis.

It would seem odd in the extreme that the Secretary of State is vested with powers to make exemptions for any country in the world except Israel, irrespective of what the ‘facts on the ground’ at any given time might be. Israel could only ever be included by amendment through primary legislation. In circumstances in which, if enacted [the Bill] would automatically render a BDS motivated relevant decision unlawful, [it] seeks [to] ‘double lock’ the position and tie the hand of the Secretary of State in respect of one country, and one country alone.

So Israel is given special status.

[The Bill is] rendered even more alarming, certainly from a legal and international relations perspective – by the inclusion [in the exemption] of the OPT and the Golan Heights in addition to Israel. This accords to territories occupied since 1967, (and deemed an unlawful occupation in international law) the precise same specially protected status as Israel itself. This effectively equates the OPT with Israel itself and is very difficult to reconcile with the long-standing position of the United Kingdom which supports a ‘two-state solution’ based on ‘1967 lines’ in which the security and right to self-determination of both Israelis and Palestinians are protected.

So the Bill contradicts the UK’s stated policy on Israel and Palestine.

The effect … is that no exemptions can be made, even by the Secretary of State, to permit any decision maker to ever take into account the status in international law of the OPT or human rights abuses occurring there.

The terms of this exemption … are also very difficult to reconcile with our obligations under international law… Legislation prohibiting local authorities from taking steps to promote Palestinian self-determination within the OPT, taken with the terms of the exclusion… would likely place the United Kingdom in breach of international law obligations.

The UK’s support of Israel would make it a criminal state.

The fact that the clauses would put the United Kingdom in breach of its international law obligations is likely to give rise to early legal challenge to the Bill should it be enacted. That is not least because [the Bill] (rightly) provides that nothing in [it] should prevent the decision maker from acting if it would otherwise place the UK in breach of its international law obligations. One can readily foresee a public body reasonably deciding that purchasing goods made in illegal Jewish settlements in the OPT would place the United Kingdom in breach of its international law obligations. Such public bodies may well consider it prudent to test the issue through judicial review before exposing itself to the risk of penalties. Accordingly, an unforeseen consequence of this Bill might therefore be that the English courts will be required to adjudicate upon the legality of the occupation of the OPT in order to ascertain whether a decision not to purchase goods was justified … so as to avoid placing the UK in breach of its international law obligations. Whereas domestic courts to date have been reluctant to adjudicate upon issues relating to the OPT, the terms of the Bill may well require them to do so.

The Bill is likely to lead to decisions making it clear that Israel is a criminal state, according to UK law – and in contradiction of the intentions of its authors.

[The Bill] prohibits public bodies not simply from saying that they intend to act in a manner prohibited by [it] but (even more controversially) that they would have done so but for the prohibition. This is a legally unprecedented restriction on the ability of relevant bodies, many of them directly elected, to express a view on their own decision-making process. Indeed, the law would have the extraordinary effect of making it illegal for a decision-maker who has complied with the [Bill’s] requirements … to state that the only reason they have taken that decision is because they were required by the law to do so, and that – were the terms of the law different – … they would have acted differently. A relevant body would be prohibited, for example, from explaining to constituents that they did not want to purchase goods from North Korea but were prevented from not doing so by the Bill/Act. This is an extraordinary gagging clause on democratically elected politicians and public bodies.

What would be the purpose behind this? Is it to make it seem that public bodies in the UK actually support Israeli atrocities when they don’t? Would this not have a chilling effect on people wanting to take part in local democracy? Would they step aside on the grounds that this is against their principles? And would this leave space for people who do support atrocities – exactly the sort of people who should be nowhere near public power – to step in and take over?

This is not just an attack on free speech but on democracy itself – as Mr Hermer makes clear:

Freedom of expression has long been recognised as one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and the rule of law. It is applicable not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that often, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population… Here under the terms of the Bill, if a Council Leader was asked whether she was in favour of the local authority procuring goods from Xinjiang in the face of genocide she would have to refuse to reply, perhaps stating “I am prohibited by s.4 of the 2023 Act from answering that question or providing any indication (be it by words, statements or any indeed any facial expression) as what the council would do if not prohibited”

[The Bill] if enacted is highly likely to be deemed incompatible by the Courts with Article 10 of the ECHR, in particular (i) the relevant public official’s right of freedom of expression and (ii) the right of the public to receive information on matters of public interest/importance… It is vanishingly unlikely that the terms … could fall within an established Article 10(2) justification. This means that any the Bill, if enacted into law, would be readily amenable to a challenge, pursuant to section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, on the basis that it is incompatible with a Convention right.

So the Bill would lay the government open to court action for inhibiting free speech.

The ‘Enforcement Authority’ (Secretary of State or Treasury, or Office for Students) [would have] a power to issue written notices requiring a person to provide a wide array of information and to penalise breaches and non-performance. The grounds on which their powers can be exercised are very wide indeed – a person merely needs to be suspected of being in the process of making a prohibited decision or about to make a prohibited statement. For example, if a person is served with a notice … they are obliged to hand over all information ‘likely to be useful’ to the enforcement authority in determining whether an offence has, or is likely to be, committed. The powers provided … to compel the production of documents are particularly troubling from a legal perspective. On their face, they appear to provide unprecedented powers to compel a person to hand over materials that would otherwise be protected by legal professional privilege. Remarkably broad, this would therefore be handing the enforcement authorities more powers than those enjoyed by anti-terrorism police and the security services. The Secretary of State [is also provided] with what is commonly referred to as a “Henry VIII power” giving her/him unchecked powers to change an enforcement authority (including that there not be one) in respect of particular types of decisions or statements.

In other words, public authorities may be penalised for even considering (for example) refusing a contract with an Israeli company working out of Palestine. And the government would be permitted to decide who to penalise or whether to penalise them at all, giving rise the possibility of favouritism. Or am I misreading that part?

As you can see, the legal advice is that the Bill is defective and should not be enacted in any way.

Ms Nandy, a staunch supporter of Israel who is not one to take sensible advice well, ignored it.

She spoke against BDS during the debate – in misleading terms:

And then she abstained on the vote (along with almost all of the 195 Labour MPs in the House of Commons. This means they allowed it to pass on to its Committee Stage by a vote of 268 in favour to 70 against.

This is because Keir Starmer, Labour’s leader and another staunch supporter of Israel no matter what it does, demanded the abstentions:

Still, some Labour MPs did oppose the Bill, but even this has led to division:

Zarah Sultana had previously stated that she was unable to attend the debate but would have voted against the Bill:

Taking all of the above into account, it seems unreasonable for any UK government to have brought a Bill as flawed as this before Parliament at all.

It is unnecessary because protections already exist to stop anti-Semitic discrimination against Israeli goods and businesses (and indeed any unreasonable discrimination against goods and businesses from another country).

It is undemocratic because the right to boycott goods and firms from a foreign country based on that country’s actions is also enshrined in law, and the measures proposed by the Bill to enforce its restrictions contradict other UK and international laws.

It is counter-productive because, if enacted into law, it is likely to generate court proceedings that will expose Israel’s behaviour towards Palestine as illegal according to international law, and its own provisions as unlawful in the UK.

In short, it will create a multitude of problems without solving any at all.

The only reason for the attempt to enshrine it in law, then, is financial. Or so it seems to me. Can anyone suggest an alternative?


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Banning UK citizens from protesting against Israel’s government is anti-democratic. Here’s why

Anti-Semitism? The Tory government’s plan to ban public bodies from taking part in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against a murderous foreign apartheid regime will be painted as a crusade against anti-Semitism. But it is one that will lack accurate evidence.

One of the (many) planned laws in Boris Johnson’s new legislative programme is one said to “prevent public bodies from adopting their own approach to international relations” by adopting ethical positions against foreign human rights abusers with boycotts of their exports.

It is widely understood that Johnson’s aim is to protect the government of Israel from the growing BDS movement, which seeks to end that country’s apartheid regime in Palestine.

This is – of course – hugely undemocratic. Local authorities and the devolved governments are elected by the UK’s voters and should be allowed to procure goods and services as they see fit, including according to a higher standard of ethics than that of the national UK government itself.

In essence, it seems the legislation is intended to smear those who refuse to tolerate the Israeli persecution of Palestine as anti-Semites. For some of us, it’s a familiar tactic.

Many people, including This Writer, have already been smeared as anti-Semites for opposing the harmful – indeed, homicidal – activities of a national government that presents itself as representing an entire ethnic group (it doesn’t; many Jews around the world are repulsed by the way Palestine is being treated).

Perversely, it is anti-racism campaigners who are being branded as anti-Semites – a brand that the UK’s own government intends to burn into local authorities, devolved governments and other public bodies if they insist on acting against the persecution of Palestine.

You can find out more about what has already happened – and help fight what is happening now – by visiting the website of a relatively new organisation whose title states exactly what it is about: the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism.

The organisation’s website states: “It is deeply hurtful to anti-racist campaigners to be branded as antisemitic. People are broken by the embarrassment and shame of attacks they suffer in the media, there for friends, family and other campaigning bodies to see – as if it were the truth… CABA aims to help set the record straight.

“We are a volunteer-led group dedicated to exposing and countering bogus antisemitism- through education and championing those unjustly accused.

“We are building a network of activists across UK, Palestine and further afield, working in a concerted manner, campaigning to allow us to decry apartheid in Israel without being branded ‘anti-Semites’.”

There’s a lot of information on the CABA site – This Writer hasn’t been able to read all of it, and I’m sure that much of it will be disputed by those with an interest in doing so.

But the intention seems an honest one – which is more than the Tory government can offer with its pro-racist, pro-apartheid planned law.

Give it a look and judge for yourself. You may learn a lot.

Source: About Us- and Joining – Campaign Against BOGUS Antisemitism

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Boris ‘let the bodies pile high in their thousands’ Johnson says he’s outraged over Ukraine

‘Let the bodies pile high’: we still don’t know whether Boris Johnson actually said it but we know that he agrees with the sentiment because, in the UK, due to Covid-19, the bodies have. Now he is attacking another world leader for causing similar carnage. Hypocrisy?

Are you finding this as hard to swallow as I am?

According to the BBC, Boris Johnson – the man who allegedly expressed his own comfort with the deaths of thousands of people in the UK – wants you to think he is appalled at the alleged mass deaths of civilians in Ukraine:

Mr Johnson has said the UK “will not stand by whilst this indiscriminate and unforgivable slaughter takes place”.

He added: “We are working to ensure those responsible are held to account. We will not rest until justice is done.”

What is he saying, then?

That it is all right to make decisions that result in the deaths of thousands of people – if those people are fellow citizens of your country – but it’s wrong if they’re foreigners?

Call me picky if you like, but I tend to think that any leader who makes decisions that kill thousands of people (and let’s remember that Boris Johnson absolutely and certainly falls into that category) has failed in their most fundamental duty.

We already knew Johnson was a hypocrite, but this is genocidal hypocrisy.

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Covid-19: Boris Johnson is happy if 50,000 of you die every year. He likes money more

Boris Johnson reckons the cost of saving up to 50,000 lives a year from Covid-19 is too high, according to leaked information from Downing Street.

It seems he would rather put you all back to work, slaving to keep the economy generating money for him and his Tory Party donors while the bodies pile high – remember what he (allegedly) said last autumn?

And if you die – so what? You’re not him so he doesn’t care.

Apparently the threshold at which he’ll start to consider re-imposing measures to restrict the spread of the virus is 50,000 lives a year. That’s more than 1,000 a week or around 137 every day.

The Prime Minister is minded to implement another lockdown or new restrictions only if the figure of annual deaths looks like it’s going to go above 50,000. That means deaths from Covid of 137 a day, or just under 1,000 a week.

It’s the equivalent of three or four major aeroplane crashes every week – but they would make news headlines and these deaths probably won’t.

And here’s a funny thing. 137 deaths per day? We’re already very close to that – and the schools in England haven’t reopened for the autumn term yet.

Ah, but it seems the level of deaths would have to be sustained for two or three weeks…

“A sustained rate of death of around a 1,000 a week for two or three weeks will, though, lead to discussion on restrictions being reimposed. Unfortunately, prime ministers have to weigh up the cost of saving lives to the impact on the economy. No one wants to talk about that’s how it works.”

… and at the moment the media are all far too busy pointing our attention towards disasters in other countries to bother reminding us of the disaster that Boris Johnson is planning to inflict on us right here in the UK.

This Writer reckons we’ll hit Johnson’s threshold for new restrictions by the third or fourth week in September.

But I’m willing to bet he’ll do nothing about it, even then.

I’ll be happy to be mistaken. But I don’t think I am.

Incredible sulk: and Johnson will have a lot to sulk about if MPs tighten rules on lying

Temper, temper: Boris Johnson lost his rag in PMQs over repeated accusations of dishonesty and sleaze. Trouble is, his outburst contained at least one more false claim.

It had to happen at a Prime Minister’s Questions that This Writer didn’t see.

For once, Labour leader Keir Starmer had a good week – but then, with the kind of ammunition he has been provided over the last few days, he could hardly go wrong.

He spent most of his time on the financing of renovations to Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. Questions over the origin of £60,000 of funding were asked months ago and not answered.

Now, Starmer asked directly whether the money – now pegged at £58,000 – was put up by Lord Brownlow – and Johnson failed to answer directly.

Rather than saying whether Brownlow had any involvement, he simply asserted – repeatedly – that he himself had “covered the cost”.

It would be entirely possible for Johnson to have “covered the cost” after receiving the money from a third party – and the fact that he did not flatly deny any involvement by Brownlow means his claim is meaningless.

But it may be Starmer’s first question that turns out to have been the bigger bear-trap. He asked whether it was true that Johnson had said he would rather have “bodies piled high” than implement another lockdown.

Johnson answered with a categorical “no”, coupled with a demand for Starmer to bring forward any evidence he had.

That may seem fairly straightforward.

But then Starmer said he would follow up on his question in the future.

And then the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford waded into the fray. Acknowledging that MPs aren’t allowed to directly accuse each other of dishonesty, he simply asked Johnson to say whether he is a liar or not.

And Johnson wouldn’t:

As you can see from the clip, first he tried to worm out of answering by querying whether the question was in order – it was.

Then he (again) questioned the evidence of him having done as Blackford (and Starmer) had suggested.

And then he responded that he had not said those words (leading us all to conclude that they may be a close paraphrase of whatever he really said).

Under this kind of pressure, perhaps it should come as no surprise that, while responding to Starmer’s claim that he was “Major Sleaze”*, Johnson underwent what might be described as a “sulk-out” – a two-minute rant that failed to address what he had been asked…

… including another false claim – that Starmer had voted against the Tory government’s Brexit deal.

And this is important, because…

As a result of all these accusations of dishonesty, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has supported a plan to enforce the rules on misleading Parliament.

Amid a fresh row over the prime minister’s “lies” to MPs, Lindsay Hoyle supported a proposal for the cross-party Commons Procedure Committee to look into “how perceived inaccuracies could be corrected” as quickly as possible.

This could create serious difficulties for Johnson, whose serial lies were mentioned on This Site very recently.

You see, Starmer is right – any minister who knowingly misleads Parliament – including the Prime Minister – is expected to offer their resignation.

If the Procedure Committee puts this expectation on a more formal basis – and Starmer produced the evidence that Johnson did make a comment to the effect that he would rather see multiple deaths than impose a lockdown – then that would signal the end of his premiership.

And it wouldn’t be a day too soon.

*That should be Major Corruption, as reported a few days ago by This Site (and others) – but perhaps Starmer was restricted from saying as much by Parliamentary rules (again).

Source: Boris Johnson Facing Tough New Rules To Force Him To Correct ‘Lies’ To Parliament | HuffPost UK

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Johnson denies saying ‘let the bodies pile high’ – but he would, wouldn’t he?

We have no reason to doubt that Boris Johnson said he’d rather see bodies piled high in their thousands than have another lockdown – even after he denied it.

That’s because we all know that Johnson is a well-known habitual liar. His dishonesty is legendary.

Recently we’ve heard him claim, in Prime Minister’s Questions, that Keir Starmer had voted against a promise of a 2.1 per cent pay rise for nurses – that his own government is breaking.

He said there would be no funding cut for the body tasked with improving transport in the north (he’s taking away 40 per cent of its funding).

He claimed all Covid-19 contracts had been published and were “on the record” – only to be contradicted by the High Court.

Remember his Brexit campaign, when he lied that the NHS would be given £350 million a week?

His lie that the NHS would get 20 hospital upgrades, starting in his first week as prime minister – that he then edited out of a video?

And what about his other offences?

Remember when he tried to make a joke of the massive loss of lives in the Libyan city of Sirte during that nation’s civil war? Or when he had to be stopped from inappropriately quoting a colonial poem by Kipling in Myanmar?

Remember when Eddie Mair, on BBC Radio 4, read out a litany of Johnson’s racist behaviour, to the dismay of Amber Rudd?

When Johnson refused to condemn widespread police violence against civilians in Catalonia?

When he spoke nonsense about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Parliament, and the Iranian government used it to threaten her with an extra five years in prison, beyond the five she was already serving on a trumped-up charge? Only this week, she has been re-imprisoned for another year – admittedly on the basis of separate evidence.

When he was reprimanded by then-Commons Speaker John Bercow for referring to Emily Thornberry in “frankly sexist” terms?

When he praised Viktor Orban on his election win in Hungary after an anti-Semitic campaign?

His sexist and Islamophobic comments about women who wear the burqa?

The £53 million he spaffed on a ‘Garden Bridge’ that was never built?

His cowardice during the Tory leadership campaign when he was the absentee candidate?

The racist poem he published, saying that Scottish people were a “verminous” race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated?

His racist assessment of the French as “turds“?

The allegation that Downing Street sought to restrict Johnson’s access to sensitive intelligence when he became Foreign Secretary?

The evidence that he met a Russian ex-KGB agent without being accompanied by his personal security detail, which strongly suggested that he was harming the UK’s security in relation to Russia? What happened about the so-called ‘Russia report’, discussing such security issues, that Johnson has been suppressing since before the general election last year?

His reference to gay men as “tank top-wearing bumboys“?

His question about Irish PM Leo Varadkar: “Why isn’t he called Murphy like the rest of them?”

His clueless claim that hard work can cure mental illness?

His relaxed attitude to his MPs abusing women?

His illegal attempt to prorogue Parliament?

His obscene description of then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn?

The corruption scandal in which he allegedly gave public money to his friend Jennifer Arcuri? What happened about that, by the way?

The allegation that Boris had taken money for his Tory leadership campaign from a group of hedge fund bosses who planned to make a fortune by getting him to force a “no deal” Brexit? What happened about that, by the way?

His decision to run away when the UK was flooded and needed strong leadership?

His failure to follow his own social distancing rules and subsequent illness with coronavirus? If he had died, it would have been of stupidity.

Put those all together and it seems entirely likely that Johnson would say what it’s alleged he said – and lie about it afterwards.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Source: Covid: Boris Johnson’s ‘bodies pile high’ comments prompt criticism – BBC News

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Johnson accused: did he say ‘Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’?

Did he say it or didn’t he? We’ll find out whether Johnson really wanted the Covid-19-riddent bodies of ourselves, our relatives and our friends “piled high” soon enough, but in the meantime his current reputation tends to mitigate against him.

This is the kind of claim that can topple a government.

The fact that it was published by the Tory-backing Daily Mail makes it even more damaging to Boris Johnson and his regime.

Here’s what the Mail has said:

Boris Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown, it was claimed last night.

The explosive remark is said to have come after he reluctantly imposed the second lockdown, sources told the Mail.

Downing Street last night strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, insisting it was ‘just another lie’. But those who say they heard it stand by their claim.

“Those who say they heard it” suggests very strongly that this comes from multiple sources who will support each other’s stories. That alone could destroy Downing Street’s claim.

The allegation is that Johnson made his outburst last October, in response to a warning by Michael Gove that, if Johnson did not order a third lockdown, soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with victims of Covid-19.

This was before there was even one vaccine, remember, but after Covid-related infections and deaths had begun to multiply exponentially.

It was not until January 4 this year that Johnson gave in and ordered a third lockdown after all.

The claim is so incendiary because the first duty of any government is to protect the population of the nation it has been elected to represent.

If Johnson really said he would happily see the dead bodies of fellow UK citizens “piled high”, rather than ask his friends in business to suffer further disruption (that they would suffer in any case, once the virus took hold) then his words represent a betrayal of his most fundamental duty.

Don’t just take my word for it:

How will this affect public support for Johnson, as the story develops over the coming days and weeks?

Well, we’ll have local elections in a little over a week.

Let’s see what happens to the opinion polls – and to the vote itself.

Source: Covid UK: Boris Johnson said he’d rather ‘bodies pile high’ than have third lockdown, sources claim | Daily Mail Online

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Boris Johnson has humiliated the UK internationally but weakling Theresa May won’t sack him

[Image: The Spectator.]

How can the UK, as a nation, put up with Boris Johnson any longer?

He is no statesman.

He is no representative of the people.

He is, quite simply, a thug with an expensive education.

Yesterday – October 3 – he managed to shame us all, not once, but twice.

At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, he said the following:

Note the toadying laughter of the Tory faithful, proving beyond doubt that they are not worthy of high office.

Sirte was the Libyan city where the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called for Mr Johnson to be sacked: “It is less than a year since Sirte was finally captured from Daesh by the Libyan government of national accord, a battle in which hundreds of government soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire, the second time in five years that the city had seen massive loss of life as a result of the Libyan civil war.

“For Boris Johnson to treat those deaths as a joke – a mere inconvenience before UK business people can turn the city into a beach resort – is unbelievably crass, callous and cruel.

“If Boris Johnson thinks the bodies of those brave government soldiers and innocent civilians killed in Sirte are a suitable subject for throwaway humour, he does not belong in the office of foreign secretary.”

Quite correct.

Even Conservative MPs have called for his removal. Heidi Allen said it was “100 per cent unacceptable from anyone, let alone the foreign secretary”, adding: “Boris must be sacked for this. He does not represent my party.”

Astonishingly, Mr Johnson has not accepted that his behaviour was inappropriate:

They weren’t playing politics; they were seriously denouncing Mr Johnson for playing the fool about people’s lives.

This is not the first time the foreign secretary has behaved offensively to other nations – he had to be stopped from inappropriately quoting a colonial poem by Kipling in Myanmar recently.

Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, Mr Johnson was being discussed in the most disparaging way:

He was referring to Mr Johnson’s intervention in the Brexit process in which, adrift from his party and its leader, the foreign secretary announced four “red lines” – conditions without which he said the UK should not leave the EU. He was also speaking in support of a motion that was highly critical of the UK’s behaviour during the Brexit negotiations. It said the talks had not made sufficient progress to move on to the next stage of talks, and was upheld by 557 votes to 92 against, with 29 abstentions.

(So David Davis and his team are also shown up as inefficient, ineffectual and inconsequential.)

He has claimed that his £141,000+ per year salary is not enough to live on, in what many believe to be an out-and-out challenge to Theresa May’s leadership (and an insult to the vast majority of the UK’s population, who have to make do with much, much less).

Mrs May herself has proved too weak to tackle the issue. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (October 1), she ducked the question of whether Mr Johnson was “unsackable”, saying her cabinet was “united”.

Perhaps she was trying to redefine the meaning of the word. After all, Jeremy Hunt tried to rewrite the history of the National Health Service, to claim that it was a Tory idea (in fact the Conservatives voted against it 22 times). Tories will say anything if they think it will win them an advantage.

If so, then – as with Mr Hunt’s comment – her logic is twisted. She has not won an advantage.

She has turned herself, her party, her government and her nation into an international laughing-stock.

And she reckons she’ll turn it all around in her speech today (October 4).

Considering her performance since becoming prime minister – no, since becoming home secretary in 2010 – it seems such a feat will be beyond her abilities.


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