Tag Archives: cabinet

Keir Starmer was part of an attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn. Now he’s whining about Shadow Cabinet backstabbers

Keir Starmer was happy to resign as a shadow cabinet minister in order to push Jeremy Corbyn out of the Labour leadership in 2016 – but now he thinks his critics in the current shadow cabinet should go instead of him.

Keir Starmer. What a piece of… work.

Five years ago he was among a group of right-wingers in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet who took part in a co-ordinated series of resignations intended to cause a leadership election in what became known as the “chicken coup”.

As the name suggests, this behaviour was considered to be cowardly and underhanded.

Now, Starmer has thrown his toys out of his pram after hearing that some of his own, predominantly right-wing, shadow cabinet have been briefing against his aides and some of their colleagues:

Unnamed shadow ministers have in recent weeks criticised Starmer’s aides, including his chief of staff Morgan McSweeney, policy chief Claire Ainsley and political director Jenny Chapman, blaming them for Labour’s caution or its reliance on focus groups of former “Red Wall” voters.

Starmer is also understood to be furious at recent briefings against frontbenchers Anneliese Dodds and Rachel Reeves.

I can’t discuss the briefings against Starmer’s aides because I don’t know enough about it, but it was claimed that Dodds would be sacked for failing to communicate Labour’s vision – which is Starmer’s job.

And Reeves was criticised for appearing in media interviews instead of Starmer, after he made a video praising a church that preaches homophobia.

According to the Huffington Post,

The Labour leader told the weekly meeting of Labour’s shadow cabinet that he was appalled by recent criticism of his aides, saying those responsible should “either stop now or have the guts to get out” of his frontbench team.

Why would these critics want to resign?

Their entire point is that it is the aides and Starmer who have behaved inappropriately – Starmer in the cases of Dodds and Reeves because he had (allegedly) put them in the line of fire that he should have taken.

And by actually putting forward an argument, it seems to This Writer that they have behaved much more honourably than Starmer did in 2016, when he resigned because he didn’t like the leader the Labour Party had democratically elected (and who was elected again as a result of the coup, with a bigger majority than before – despite (again, alleged) attempts to rig the vote).

I notice that Starmer himself seems far less inclined, himself, to resign, even though that action seems far more appropriate now than it was in 2016.

Perhaps next month’s local elections will change his mind.

Source: Keir Starmer Blasts Shadow Cabinet ‘Cowards’ Who Brief Against His Staff | HuffPost UK

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Liz Truss is Tories’ choice as most popular Cabinet member. Really? From doing deals with Macedonia?

Truss up: the queen of cheese is now queen of the Cabinet. Why? Seriously. WHY?

The mouse-brained queen of cheese, Liz Truss, has been voted most popular Cabinet member by Conservative-voting readers of the ConservativeHome website.

I mean, obviously there’s very little competition, but, really? Liz Truss?

This is the woman who got so aggravated about cheese, she’ll never live it down:

She went on to forge a trade deal with Japan that, even in September when it was signed, was ridiculed for selling Stilton to a nation of people who are lactose intolerant.

Then in November, the deal unravelled altogether. Truss had claimed “strong tariff reductions on key agricultural products like pork, beef and salmon [that] will benefit farmers and food exporters”.

But a study by the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at the University of Sussex found that just 10 of 9,444 products will enjoy lower taxes.

They include birds’ eggs, raw hides, fur skins, handbags and ultra-strong spirits of at least 90 per cent alcohol – none of which are exported to Japan by the UK, meaning the study found the gain to UK exporters is zero.

Now she’s celebrating a deal with North Macedonia. Is it too early for the wheels to come off that wagon?

Apparently it isn’t.

In fact, I hope people in Macedonia don’t take offence at the next comment:

She is utterly incapable and a danger to the well-being of the people of the UK.

What does it say about her Cabinet colleagues that Tories find her the most appealing member of that group?

Over to you, Twitter…

Here’s the last word:

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Leaked report warns of Covid-Brexit “horror show” – remember THIS IS WHAT BORIS JOHNSON WANTS

Two-fingered salute: the UK might fall into lawlessness and chaos because of Boris Johnson but he doesn’t care, as long as he gets what he wants.

A Cabinet Office “reasonable worst-case” report on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit combining with another wave of Covid-19 has laid out exactly what Boris Johnson wanted for the UK when he became PM.

Johnson, you’ll remember, did not want any trade deals with the European Union after the UK leaves that bloc.

It was widely believed that this is because the hedge fund managers who supported his bid to be Tory leader have bet heavily on the UK going into recession, with many big-name firms going out of business. The claim was that they could make £8 billion out of it.

Of course, none of these multi-billionaires care a fig about the rest of us. If the country falls into chaos they’ll be off to their holiday homes in the sun, with their cash safely stowed in a tax haven.

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, you will be left to deal with food, fuel and power shortages, illness and deaths caused by flood, flu and Covid-19, and incursions into the country from outside such as EU boats coming into our fishing waters.

And, as may reasonably be expected from his government’s failures so far on Covid-19 – the school reopening furore, school meals, exam results, care home deaths, PPE procurement, face mask procurement, test and trace, contract nepotism… the list goes on and on – on flooding (remember that?) and on any other subject you care to mention, the Johnson government has not planned any response to this at all.

The article goes on to state:

  • One in 20 Town Halls could go bust in a second Covid wave, sparking social care chaos.
  • The economic impact of the virus and Brexit could cause public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
  • Troops may have to be drafted on to the streets to help the police in the worst-case scenario — 1,500 are already on stand by.
  • Social distancing measures and masks will have to continue until 2021 regardless.
  • Supplies of food and fuel are all under threat this Christmas if Dover becomes blocked.

The planners warned that “pandemic influenza, severe flooding, a Covid second wave and an unruly exit from the EU transition period could cause a systemic economic crisis with major impact on ­disposable incomes, unemployment, business activity, international trade and market stability.”

It could be combined with likely “coordinated industrial action” as well as shortages risking public disorder and a mental health crisis that will hit the poorest hardest.

Nobody in a Tory government is going to worry about a mental health crisis that harms poor people, of course.

And the attitude by leading Tories to this frankly terrifying report seems to be that if they ignore it, it will go away.

Michael Gove is quoted as babbling: “We got Brexit done with a great deal in January.

“A brighter future awaits as we forge our own path.”

A government spokesperson did add that this was a “reasonable worst case” scenario.

But on the Johnson ministry’s record so far, it is stretching the facts to breaking point to suggest that the government is “ensuring we are ready for all eventualities”.

That simply is not going to happen. On the evidence of the last 12 months, it would be irresponsible to believe anything Johnson, his ministers or his spokespeople say about it.

But there’s one more matter to remember:

If this disaster happens, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, other than to prepare as well as you can (because the Tories simply won’t).

I anticipate another stockpiling splurge, worse than the rush for toilet roll in March, at the very least.

Obviously the worst-case will be social unrest and violence – and I’m not ruling that out, either.

Whatever happens, if we end up with no deal and any of the feared outcomes are triggered, you must remember (because he’ll lie about it):

It is what Boris Johnson wanted all along.

Source: Leaked document reveals Cabinet’s emergency plans for perfect storm of No Deal Brexit and coronavirus second wave

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Cabinet Office inquiry expected to clear Patel of bullying. But what will the courts do?

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

Read this – it’s not a good thing:

Priti Patel is expected to be cleared this week of bullying senior civil servants in three separate government departments, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

The home secretary had been accused of breaching the ministerial code by mistreating staff at the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for International Trade.

Reports of her impending clearance have prompted condemnation of the Cabinet Office inquiry process, which is conducted in secret and offers no recourse for complainants. Boris Johnson has already been criticised for compromising the process by insisting, before the inquiry had concluded, that he would continue to support Patel.

It is not acceptable that Boris Johnson compromised a major inquiry into the behaviour of his Home Secretary by announcing his continued support for her before it had finished.

But here’s why it could turn out well – and embarrassing for Johnson:

She is still to face claims from her former Home Office permanent secretary, Sir Philip Rutnam, who is using whistleblowing laws to take her to an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal.

The courts won’t accept any interference from Johnson – that’s one reason he has already said he wants to restrict their ability to overrule political decisions that contradict the law.

(And you should be thinking about that very hard.)

If the courts find against Patel, it will throw the whole Cabinet Office inquiry process into question.

Source: Priti Patel expected to be cleared of bullying by Cabinet Office inquiry | Politics | The Guardian

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Outcry as Starmer promotes anti-Semite supporter Rachel Reeves into Shadow Cabinet

What a charmer: Rachel Reeves hates people who don’t have a job – and loves a historic anti-Semite.

Keir Starmer seems to be sending mixed messages at the moment.

After practically prostituting himself to the witch-hunters of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Community Security Trust, Jewish Labour Movement and so on – who are keen to see him expel previous leader Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, he has made Rachel Reeves Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Ms Reeves is currently infamous for praising Nancy Astor who, besides being the first female MP, was a notorious anti-Semite.

Previously, Ms Reeves was unpopular because she said Labour should be “tougher than the Tories” on people claiming social security benefits. How was she going to manage that – by lining them up against a wall and shooting them?

If this is the quality of Starmer’s ShadCab choices, he can take his new New Labour and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Has hand-shaking Johnson taken his whole cabinet down with coronavirus?

Johnson: The prime minister seemed close to incoherence during press conferences and broadcasts.

Not only has Boris Johnson been found to have the coronavirus, but his Health Secretary Matt Hancock is self-isolating with symptoms too.

How long until the rest of the Tory cabinet come down with it?

They’ve all been in close contact with each other, especially in the days before the country was locked down.

And Mr Johnson’s attitude to the disease was deplored as irresponsible, even after it was known to be in the UK.

Remember when he said, “I can tell you that I am shaking hands continuously. I was at a hospital the other night where … I think there were a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you’ll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands… Washing your hands is the crucial thing.”

Well, it seems Johnson didn’t wash his hands well enough, or often enough!

And if he has to give up his job to recover, so much the better. As the New York Times has just put it: “Britain needs a leader, not a joker.

According to that publication [boldings mine]: “Mr. Johnson has been indecisive, contradictory, confused and confusing, jovial when he should be grave, muddled when a frightened nation desperately needs him to be clear.

“The man picked for his supposed talents as a great communicator has stumbled his way through news conferences.

“His careless, inexcusable reluctance to track and halt the virus earlier will have cost lives.

“His switches of strategy and his lack of clarity left far too many Britons oblivious to the importance of social distancing until far too late.”

It seems poetic justice that one of the people to suffer because of this irresponsibility is the Clown Minister himself.

Source: Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive – BBC News

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Reshuffle resignation shames Johnson’s shambolic government

Gone: Sajid Javid has quit Boris Johnson’s government, apparently after a power-struggle with Dominic Cummings.

It says everything you need to know about Boris Johnson’s leadership that the big news today (February 13) hasn’t been his own cabinet reshuffle – but a resignation in protest against advisor Dominic Cummings.

We’re being told that Sajid Javid has resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer in protest at being told to fire his team of special advisors.

Apparently the prime minister’s office had told him to use SpAds from Number 10 instead, to “make it all one team”, but he had said no self-respecting minister would have accepted such an ultimatum.

The whisper is that Mr Javid had been clashing with Mr Cummings over the budget, with the former intending to unveil a traditionally-Tory plan and the latter keen to reward former ‘Red Wall’ constituencies that switched to support the Conservatives in last December’s Brexit-dominated election.

Of course, one aspect of that election is the fact that the Tories never produced a costed economic plan; their sums simply didn’t add up.

And it is unlikely that they will add up now, under a joint team as ordered by Number 10, with Johnson yes-man Rishi Sunak named as the new Chancellor.

What can we say about Mr Sunak that isn’t extremely critical? Not a lot.

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey has already put him down twice – in a tweet today and a debate during the election campaign:

And Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell reckons his appointment signals that Johnson’s government has fallen into “chaos” and “crisis”.

“Johnson is dependent on an unelected advisor, Cummings, with no experience of government.

“Today a swathe of Cabinet ministers in key posts like transport and environment have walked away or been sacked.

“He cannot even keep onside his Chancellor, meant to be his closest confidante.

“While the rest of us feel the pain of ten years of cuts the government is focused on in-fighting.

“This is the start of a government falling apart.”

And it only took two months.

Source: Cabinet reshuffle: Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor – BBC News

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Is Cleverly for the chop in coming Cabinet reshuffle – along with a lot of ladies?

James Cleverly: He was once described as “the Tories’ go-to eejit when they need someone to tweet absolute nonsense or defend the indefensible”. It seems they no longer feel the need to defend themselves in that way.

It seems James Cleverly’s time at the top is finally running out – and it can’t end soon enough, in This Writer’s view.

Mr Cleverly simply isn’t smart enough to hold a top job in government. Besides, with Boris Johnson as prime minister, we don’t need two idiots with their feet in their mouths at the same time.

Apparently, some think this is harsh treatment after Cleverly presided over a heavy defeat for the Labour Party – but that had very little to do with him.

It seems he’ll be replaced by expenses cheat Maria Miller, who disgraced herself in the Department for Work and Pensions before she disgraced herself over money. It may be that she has learned her lessons in the nearly-six-years since that happened; draw your own conclusions.

Also for the chop, it seems, are many of the women Johnson appointed to make himself look like an equal-opportunities boss, in the run-up to the election.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and welfare boss Therese Coffey (who made a fool of herself by saying food banks were a perfect way to deal with poverty) are apparently on the way out, with sexism apparently on the way back in.

It seems the only way Johnson can be described as supporting equal opportunities is negative:

Members of his own government are just as likely to get the bum’s rush as the rest of us. 

Source: Boris Johnson expected to oust Tory chairman James Cleverly in reshuffle – Mirror Online

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Tory incompetence: Cabinet Office publishes home addresses of Honours recipients

Data publication: This is how the recipients of the New Year Honours probably responded to the announcement that their private details had been made public by the government.

They really can’t complain. We can be sure most of the New Year Honours recipients voted for this kind of Tory ineptitude so they can’t make much of a fuss about having received it.

Yes, the Tory-run Cabinet Office has managed to publish the home addresses of celebrities including Elton John and cricketer Ben Stokes, alongside those of police officers, politicians like Iain Duncan Smith and Ministry of Defence staff, and hundreds of “unsung” local heroes.

The Tory government even made the details available in an easily-downloadable list – to make it extra easy for enemies of the state to access the home addresses of its defenders.

The spreadsheet was posted on the government website at 10.30pm on Friday (December 27), and was taken down early today (December 28).

But experts reckon the breach will be hard to remedy, now it has happened. Even if the number of people who downloaded the list is known – along with their identities, how many of them will have passed it on? It could spread like a virus.

Clearly the Tory government doesn’t have the slightest idea about data protection and cannot stick by the rules that it made for itself.

Of course we already knew that. The biggest security risk in the country is current prime minister Boris Johnson.

The Tories passed a new Data Protection Act last year, intended to ensure that sensitive information of this kind would not be broadcast by organisations such as, say, Her Majesty’s Government.

The Cabinet Office, which published the list, is responsible for supporting the National Security Council and the Joint Intelligence Organisation. It coordinates the government’s response to crises and manages the UK’s cybersecurity.

So we’re all doomed, obviously.

Source: Government exposes addresses of new year honours recipients

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Johnson spits on democracy: he’s putting ousted MP Goldsmith in the Lords to keep him in the Cabinet

Zac Goldsmith: In this image, he appears to be trying to pretend he’s Hugh Grant in the new film Corruption, Actually.

Remember that racist Tory?

No, not Boris Johnson.

The one who ran a despicable campaign to become Mayor of London by making racist comments about Labour candidate (and now Mayor) Sadiq Khan, who was labelled “the Muslim”. Remember him?

His name was Zac Goldsmith. After his racist mayoral campaign failed, he went back to being Tory MP for Richmond – until he was removed from Parliament by the democratic vote of the people on Thursday, December 12.

Apparently that’s not good enough for our prime mop-headed muppet Boris Johnson. He has decided to ennoble Mr Goldsmith, in order to retain him as a Cabinet minister.

It seems that, despite having 365 MPs from whom to choose, Johnson can’t find enough supporters to form a full cabinet without spitting on democracy.

Either that or there aren’t enough racists.

It seems Mr Goldsmith will continue as Environment Secretary.

As a Lord and not a member of the Commons, it will be impossible for MPs to question him on government policies.

But he will be able to vote on all legislation. Does that seem right?

The Electoral Reform Society would say it doesn’t:

It’s cronyism. Johnson is surrounding himself with his gang, in mockery of his own claims to be creating a “People’s government”.

It’s perfectly in character, though – as I tweeted myself:

Source: Zac Goldsmith ‘to get Tory peerage so he can serve as minister’ | Metro News

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