Tag Archives: Bruce

Sauce for the goose: protester ejected from Tory conference – like Tories from pubs?

Not how it happened: Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray squares off against someone who appears to be Tory MP Lee Anderson.

How hypocritical. The Tories have been complaining about being thrown out of pubs and clubs in Manchester for being Tories, but had no problem with assaulting Brexit protester Steve Bray while ejecting him from a Tory conference event.

Here’s video footage of what happened:

It isn’t wonderful because we can’t see all of the altercation with a man described later by Lee Anderson as “Brave Bruce”. Here’s what the Leeanderthal had to say, coupled with a response from (look out, Tories!) a lawyer:

It doesn’t help the Leeanderthal’s case that his accompanying image is of them both brandishing their fists. The message seems clearly one of threatened violence.

And yet Tories – most particularly LGBT+ Tories – are complaining about being ejected from Manchester night spots. Watch:

The story recounted above has been vehemently denied by a drag artist who appears on stage at The New Union. According to The Manc:

According to Lara Stoned, the allegedly ‘unkind’ actions were some patrons ‘chanting “Trans Rights”.’

They also said that the group of Tories ‘threw an object’ at a New Union staff member.

Lara Stoned posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “@GBNEWS How DARE you broadcast a story filled with lies and damaging allegations towards the community within Manchester.

“Don’t you realise those kind of remarks HINDER and THREATEN the livelihood of self employed queer performers and queer venues. Shame on you.”

They added: “They were in fact politely asked to leave when they arrived, but then continued to be disrespectful, aggressive and dangerous to the staff AND customers of the establishment. Anyone who challenges the rights of my community is not welcome in my home.”

Put it all together and who are you going to believe?

It has to be Steve Bray and the regulars at The New Union.

Anderson and the Tories have shown their aggression clearly.

And, let’s be honest, the Conservatives have proved they can’t be trusted to tell the truth by their last 13 years in government, in which they made promise after promise and broke them all.


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Fiona Bruce quits as Refuge ambassador over Stanley Johnson ‘one-off’ comment

Fiona Bruce: would she have been better-off staying with Refuge and quitting the BBC?

Neither Fiona Bruce nor the domestic abuse charity Refuge wanted this; it seems to have been prompted by the sense of betrayal felt by domestic abuse victims – over words the BBC obliged her to speak.

Ms Bruce has quit as an ambassador for Refuge after saying on the BBC’s Question Time last week that it’s understood an incident in which former PM Boris Johnson’s father broke his wife’s nose was “a one-off”.

The charity has said survivors of domestic abuse have been in touch over the weekend to described how “devastating” Ms Bruce’s words had been to them.

Refuge’s position has always been that “domestic abuse is never a ‘one-off’; it is a pattern of behaviour that can manifest in a number of ways, including but not limited to physical abuse. Domestic abuse is never acceptable.”

Ms Bruce should have known that – but it seems that she was caught between a rock and a hard place, because she was “legally obliged” by her contract with the BBC to say the words that were given to her during the recording of the programme on March 9.

The BBC explained this in a statement on March 10: “When serious allegations are made on air against people or organisations, it is the job of BBC presenters to ensure that the context of those allegations – and any right of reply from the person or organisation – is given to the audience, and this is what Fiona Bruce was doing … She was not expressing any personal opinion about the situation.”

So it seems the BBC was at fault for telling Ms Bruce to speak words that were at odds with accepted facts about domestic abuse.

That certainly seems to be Refuge’s take on what happened: “While we know the words were not Fiona’s own and were words she was legally obliged to read out, this does not lessen their impact and we cannot lose sight of that.”

Contrast this with the Corporation’s attitude to Gary Lineker, who has been reinstated as host of Match of the Day after (rightly) refusing to retract his comparison of Suella Braverman’s words about Channel migrants with the rhetoric of Germany in the 1930s.

In both situations, the presenters knew (or should have known) what was right, but their bosses wrongly thought they knew better.

The BBC still hasn’t learned its lesson; Lineker is back in his job while an “independent” review of its social media policy takes place. This Writer can guess right now that it will demand stricter restrictions on presenters’ rights of free speech on other platforms.

And Suella Braverman is still othering and demonising Channel migrants.

In her latest Parliamentary appearance, she blamed vulnerable refugees for  the supply of illegal drugs in the UK:

So she hasn’t learned any lessons either.

Source: Fiona Bruce to step down as Refuge ambassador over Stanley Johnson comments | Fiona Bruce | The Guardian


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Schools and hospitals: Your government can’t be bothered

The modern answer to any problem: If your school or hospital is under-performing, don't try to solve its problems - close it.

The modern answer to any problem: If your school or hospital is under-performing, don’t try to solve its problems – close it.

Late last year, a high school here in Powys was tested by inspectors and found so seriously lacking that it was placed in ‘special measures’.

(You’ll be familiar with the term, dear reader, because Jeremy Hunt, the bad-for-your-Health Secretary, has now placed several hospitals in the same category. We’ll get to them soon.)

Leighton Andrews AM, who was Welsh Education Minister at the time, wrote to Powys County Council on January 7 this year, stating that he would be minded to use his ministerial powers to close John Beddoes School, which is nearly 500 years old, if the local education authority failed to demonstrate improvement by the end of the summer term.

The Council’s cabinet immediately decided to ignore any calls for improvement and instead devised three alternative plans for closure. These were outlined in a letter to the Minister on January 30.

The authority then embarked on a formal public consultation which returned an overwhelming result in favour of retaining the school but sorting out its problems – as had been done 10 years previously at the high school in Newtown, around 20 miles away.

But the council’s cabinet chose to add insult to injury, not only by going ahead with its closure plan (so much for local democracy) but also by planning to re-open the school as a second campus of Newtown High, the school that had received remedial treatment in the past and is now one of the highest-performing in Wales.

Meanwhile, in England, all 161 hospital trusts are to be inspected under a new “more robust” regime, in the wake of hysteria stirred up by Downing Street and the right-wing media about failings at 11 hospital trusts. The trusts had been investigated after the so-called Stafford Hospital scandal, as they had the highest death rates between 2010-12. The public inquiry into Stafford concluded that the public had been betrayed by a system that put “corporate self-interest” ahead of patients.

The headlines claimed 13,000 people died needlessly in 14 dangerous hospitals. Polly Toynbee in The Guardian rightly pointed out that this was nonsense: “The Tory ambush was pre-planned by Downing Street as well-primed MPs used a report by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, to turn Labour’s good NHS record into a liability. Labour’s outrage was not synthetic, but indignation within the NHS was even fiercer at seeing the progress of the last decade trashed. The attack was not just on Labour, but on the viability and the future of the NHS itself.

“Where did that 13,000 come from? Not from Keogh’s meticulous report. With an innocent face, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, protested: ‘I don’t know how that number was put out there.’ It came from No 10 briefers, and was quickly refuted by Keogh, who called it ‘clinically meaningless and academically reckless’. It was also promoted by Professor Sir Brian Jarman, author of the Dr Foster hospital guide.”

Why did the Conservatives put out the misinformation?

Readers of this blog may be forgiven for thinking it’s just another in a long line of goofs by a government that can’t get its facts right.

In fact, it’s part of the ongoing war on the National Health Service, intended to soften up public feeling and smooth the way for ever-greater privatisation.

…because we all know that privatisation works so well and is so much cheaper, don’t we (British Rail)?

There is a link between all three issues. Yes, that’s right, three – not two.

In each case, the public wanted an improved service. The onus was on the appropriate authority to get involved in the situation, find out what was going wrong, and fix it.

But Powys Council’s cabinet couldn’t be bothered – and decided to close a school instead. Closing a school wipes the slate clean and means that the council won’t be seen to have poor-performing education institutions on its books.

The NHS organisations in charge of the 11 failing hospital trusts couldn’t be bothered either – and, according to investigators, chose to cover up the failings in their systems, rather than correct them.

And the Conservative-led Coalition government certainly can’t be bothered. David Cameron and his cronies are busily selling off our greatest national asset, piecemeal, to their big business friends who intend to wring every penny of profit they can make out of it. Do you really think that health care in the UK will improve under such a corrupt regime?

This blog has roundly criticised Mr Hunt for his co-authorship of a book that criticised the NHS, before the Coalition government came to office.

In Direct Democracy, published in 2005, he told readers that the health service was old-fashioned and out of touch: “It was, and remains, a child of its time.”

Now, as local and national government neglect links up with institutionalised ass-covering to bring more and more public services to their knees, the public might well be left wondering why nobody responsible for them feels the need to put them right.

Apparently, that’s an old-fashioned notion, too.

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