Tag Archives: challenge

What a Carry On as Twitter challenge leads to more embarrassment for the Tories

Dream casting: a Carry On Film about the current government (Carry On Cocking Up?) would feature Charles Hawtrey (right) as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Hattie Jacques as Boris Johnson.

A humorous challenge on Twitter has led to embarrassment for the Johnson government as users lined up to mock ministers’ efforts to contain Covid-19, control migrants and continue with Brexit.

It was laid down as follows:

And then the fun began – often using titles reminiscent of the actual Carry On films:

Some entries just took potshots at the Tories, their cronies, and other politicians:

And, in fairness, some focused on our own behaviour in the face of the crises into which the Tories have pitched us:

Does anybody else suddenly want to watch a real Carry On film now? Those were simpler times – if only in terms of what passed as entertainment…

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Labour members: why revolt over Starmer’s ‘blind eye’ for refugee rights? Does he have a SEEING eye, in that case?

Still apt: Keir Starmer reckons he was named after original Labour leader Hardie – but can anyone doubt that his illustrious forerunner might have said these words, if confronted with evidence of Starmer’s abysmal performance? [I’m astonished to discover, after using the image on another article, that I need to clarify that he didn’t.]

Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that Labour Party members are challenging Keir Starmer over something.

And his failure to voice a coherent party policy on the people coming across the channel in dinghies – because they aren’t legally allowed to demand asylum in the UK without physically being here – is indeed shameful.

It seems the sticking-point for party members is that Starmer has criticised the government for incompetence in failing to carry out its own policy to deflect refugees away from the UK, because it is not Labour’s job to support the Tories in their cruelties.

And the protesters are right to point out that international law is clear: the migrants’ right to come to the UK for asylum is protected.

But there are so many other issues on which Starmer has disgraced himself – and brought Labour into disrepute.

Where is the party’s condemnation of Israeli’s bombing attack on Gaza, that has been ongoing for, I believe, 11 days by now?

Related to that, where is his apology to all the party members Labour has been persecuting with false allegations of anti-Semitism? This is linked to the party’s attitude to Israel because Labour under Starmer seems to think that opposition to that nation’s policies is the same as hatred of Jews – a clear fallacy.

Still on an ethnic theme, isn’t the Labour leader due a kicking over his frankly racist attitude to the Black Lives Matter campaign?

Or, going back to support for the Tories, why is he getting a free pass over his demand that schools must open again in September – in line with Boris Johnson’s own comments – when it is still not clear whether this is putting our children, and ourselves, in danger?

In fact it seems all-too-easy to challenge Keir Starmer over failings in his leadership.

Has he done anything that party members can wholeheartedly support?

Source: Channel crossings: Keir Starmer faces Labour revolt over stance on refugees | The Independent

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Parliament has been cleared of sceptical Tories – the new mob are Johnson’s ‘yes’-people

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Parliament is failing: the new intake of Tory ‘yes’ people don’t have the guts to challenge Johnson’s attacks on democracy.

Guardian reader named Les Bright has made a very useful observation about democracy in the Johnson ministry: there isn’t any.

We cannot trust our Tory MPs to challenge undemocratic or despotic behaviour by Boris Johnson and his government because all the – let’s call them – sceptical Conservatives were purged in the last Parliament for challenging him over Brexit. They have gone.

So analyses of the lies and failings of Johnson’s current government are wrong to suggest that we must rely on “Conservatives with consciences” to administer the checks and balances we have previously expected of Parliament; they simply don’t exist in the 2020s.

This Writer’s own MP is a Tory, and she is a fawning toady who dutifully files through the lobbies at the whim of her master Johnson while fobbing off any queries from her electorate with form letters that are most likely typed up from a template by an intern.

Mr Bright’s letter suggests that people like Fay Jones are unlikely to raise their heads above the parapet until matters have degenerated much further and they have no alternative.

But they are unlikely to judge the moment correctly. By then, we will most likely have passed the point of no return.

Source: Lies, suspicion and silence in the Tory party | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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We knew the Tories’ inquiry into court challenges of their decisions would be corrupt; this just proves it

Lord Faulks: He thinks a Tory government should be above the rule of law.

Typical Tories – they won’t keep their promise to test people in care homes, but they will keep one to stop us making a fuss about it.

I refer to the promise on page 48 of the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto. You know the one: “We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.”

It seems reasonable but actually means: We will impose a Conservative dictatorship that the courts cannot stop from acting illegally.

A judicial review stopped Johnson’s illegal prorogation of Parliament last autumn and showed the nation what a rancid liar he is.

Sadly, too many people were happier to believe a lot of lies about Jeremy Corbyn and voted him back into power last December with a whopping great 80-strong majority in the House of Commons.

So now he’s getting round to ensuring that the courts will not be allowed to examine his government’s decisions on the Covid-19 crisis, by opening an inquiry into court challenges against his decisions – headed by a former Tory minister who has already indicated he wants to gag the courts:

Basically, he thinks a Tory government should be above the rule of law. The Nazis felt the same way about their government in Germany, I believe.

This Writer is willing to bet the judiciary will be tied up in all the red tape that David Cameron said he’d eliminate 10 years ago, by the time anyone gets around to an inquiry into what the Tories did during the Covid crisis.

Such an inquiry has already been demanded, by the way. Johnson said it wasn’t the time for that kind of investigation.

You see how this is working for him – and against the rest of us, and democracy?

Source: Judicial review: Labour query independence of government probe – BBC News

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Boris’s Brexit border plans could make UK a laughing-stock, says MP best-known for obsession with cheese

Liz Truss: the queen of cheese is warning that Boris Johnson’s Brexit will cause serious problems.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit border plans could break international trading rules, risk the UK’s international credibility, and lead to smuggling from the European Union, it has been alleged.

And just so you know this is a serious matter, the warning comes in a leaked letter written by the minister best-known – and ridiculed – for her own unnatural obsession with cheese.

Liz Truss – for it was she – outlined four “key areas of concerns” [sic] about the government’s plans to leave EU trading and custom rules at the end of 2020, in a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove.

Here’s UK Business Insider:

Truss said the plans could create a series of logistical, political, and reputational risks for the government, including:

  • A legal challenge from the World Trade Organisation.
  • Increased smuggling from the EU if not all UK ports are ready to carry out checks.
  • Concerns over the union if EU tariffs are applied to all goods heading to Northern Ireland by “default.”
  • The undermining of the UK’s international trade policy.

The whole is likely to make the UK even more of an international laughing-stock than it is now – and that’s frankly amazing because other nations have been laughing at us for years.

They can see what happens when a nation falls into neoliberal decline for more than 40 years.

By the end, it has no public services to call its own, no manufacturing industry, no trading partners, no talent and no credibility.

And the members of the Tory government are prime examples of the philosophy that led to this collapse.

Source: Leaked Liz Truss letter says Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans risk legal challenge – Business Insider

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Terminally ill woman forced to fight for benefits as it’s uncertain if she’ll die in six months

Lorraine Cox.

A woman from Derrylin, in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has challenged the legal definition of a terminal illness after she was refused access to benefits due to uncertainty over her lifespan.

Lorraine Cox has Motor Neurone Disease.

Lorraine was required to still look for work months after she medically retired because of her condition.

The 40-year-old then underwent a medical assessment for both ‘Universal Credit’ and ‘Personal Independence Payment’ (PIP) due to a rule which states that those who qualify for payment are expected to die within a period of six months.

Law Centre NI legal officer, John McCloskey, who is assisting Lorraine in her application explained; “The inclusion of the six month criterion in the legal definition of a terminal illness has been described as cruel.”

It is restricting access to support for people at a very difficult time. “The six month rule was introduced over 30 years ago and was intended to assist people in accessing special terminal illness rules, not restrict them. It is now hurting terminally ill people who have an illness that’s more difficult to accurately predict.

“The Westminster all-party parliamentary group for terminal illness described the six month criterion as ‘unfit for purpose’ and called on the UK government to amend the legal definition of a terminal illness.

“Walter Rader, in his independent review of PIP in Northern Ireland, recommended that the clinical judgement of a medical practitioner should be sufficient to allow special rules to apply. We are now testing whether the application of the six month criterion is in fact lawful.”

Source: Terminally ill woman ‘forced to fight for her benefits’ – The Fermanagh Herald

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New Parliament voting system is a farce that turns MPs into targets

Jacob Rees-Mogg: the image makes him look serious but don’t be fooled – he’s an idiot.

What if a terrorist gets among MPs while they’re queuing to vote, in their “conga line” as the SNP describes it, all spaced two metres apart, two buildings down the road from the Palace of Westminster?

I know it’s not entirely likely, what with the Covid-19 lockdown and all, but anybody could go among them and cause chaos. Security is impossible, thanks to Jacob Rees-Mogg and his silly attempt to cling on to tradition.

Just take a look at this video by Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyles:

Anybody could get in amongst them – as indeed they appear to do in the clip.

Not only that, but the plan deliberately excludes MPs who must continue to “shield” from Covid-19 because they have medical conditions which demand that they do so:

The article states: “When returning from recess, MPs will have to vote on the proposal which could see them forming kilometre-long ‘conga-line’ queues in order to obey social distancing rules – despite the Lords planning a move online.

“Robert Halfon is among the senior Tories who say the move will turn individuals who, like him, are shielding and those who are ill, self-isolating or based far away from Westminster into ‘parliamentary eunuchs’.

“He is backing moves to allow digital voting to resume in amendments to Mr Rees-Mogg’s motion led by Conservative former Cabinet minister Karen Bradley.”

Rees-Mogg has reluctantly announced plans to offer shielding MPs a “limited” role in Commons proceedings.

It isn’t good enough.

Our MPs were elected to play a full role in Parliamentary proceedings and if the Leader of the House of Commons tries to limit it then he is acting in an unconstitutional way and should be challenged, in court if necessary.

If such a challenge were to win, then any decisions made under the Rees-Mogg system would have o be voided.

So it would be better all around if no decision were taken until all challenges have concluded.

And that, Mr Rees-Mogg, would slow down Parliament more than digital sessions ever did.

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Legal challenge threat to Tory government over death of NHS workers due to PPE shortage

PPE: The UK’s is on the bottom right. Now you know why it has been so diabolically awful.

As usual the Tories are ducking and covering, trotting out their usual excuse that there’s no proof of “any causal link” between the lack of PPE and the deaths of NHS staff.

It’s the excuse they use whenever anyone suggests that one of the disabled people they’ve persecuted to death might have died because of the way the Tory government treats them and it doesn’t stand up when they use it that way either.

The answer is obvious. Just turn around and say: “Okay – what do you think is the most likely reason: contact with NHS patients who have the coronavirus while wearing an apron and no face protection every single minute of their working lives, or accidentally standing 1.99m away from the nearest person on the way to and from that job?

Matt Hancock’s PPE (these days… I expect).

My personal opinion? We should throw Matt Hancock and all the other excuse-mongers into one of their own Covid-riddled prisons now, and throw away the keys.

The bereaved families of healthcare professionals are asking why their loved ones were sent to the medical front line without the personal protective equipment they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.

We would not expect a fire fighter to die because they were not provided with fire retardant clothing. In the same way, the death of a nurse because they had only a pinny, gloves and a paper mask is arbitrary and almost certainly unacceptable to the public.

The government’s … own influenza pandemic strategy states specifically, “the government has in place stockpiles of face masks and respirators for health and social care workers”.

The Department of Health rejected the government’s own specialist advisory body’s advice in 2017 to stockpile eye protection, reasoning: “The cost of the PPE component of the pandemic stockpile would increase four to six-fold with a very limited likelihood of cost benefits.”

Authorities have an obligation to take preventive operational measures to protect lives; this includes the lives of NHS workers so far as it doesn’t impose an “impossible or disproportionate burden” on the authorities.

Coroners’ inquests may become an important forum for determining whether the government has adequately safeguarded the lives of its health workers during this pandemic. A coroner can look at a death from COVID-19 in circumstances where the death was unexpected and there are allegations of culpable human failure.

Bereaved families may also be able to bring claims in the civil courts, under the Human Rights Act 1998, for breach of a loved one’s right to life – a group action on this would not be surprising.

Source: Coronavirus: could government face legal questions over the death of NHS workers during PPE shortage?

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DWP hires opinion poll firm to survey benefit claimants who challenge decisions. Why?

Our friends at Benefits and Work pose an interesting question: why has the DWP hired an opinion poll company – Ipsos Mori – to quiz PIP mandatory reconsideration claimants?

The rogue government department has been caught out recently, after a Freedom of Information request revealed that assessors from private contractors Atos and Capita have falsified around 7,300 benefit claims in order to deprive vulnerable people of money that is due to them.

Appeals against PIP decisions currently enjoy a success rate of more than 70 per cent, which tends to support the facts revealed by the FoI response.

Now, in a letter to dissenting claimants, the DWP has written that it has asked Ipsos MORI “to help them understand the experience of people who have disagreed with a decision that has been made regarding their benefit claim and to help the Department improve the services they offer”.

Benefits and Work has adopted an attitude of suspicion, with the website requesting information on the questions being asked, from anybody who agrees to answer them.

But why has the DWP hired Ipsos Mori to do this work?

Well, it has been said that opinion pollsters are never really hired to reflect the opinions of the public – but to shape them.

How do they do that?

In the choice of the questions they ask.

For example: asked if a benefit assessor was polite during the interview, even a disgruntled claimant might have to say that they were.

But how can the same claimant point out that their assessment had been doctored to provide false information, if they are not asked a question about it?

They can’t.

And if Ipsos Mori asks only the questions the DWP requires, then the government department will be able to claim that there is nothing wrong with its assessment system, with nobody able to claim that it is not depending on honest answers.

So Benefits and Work is right to advise caution, and to be keen to see the questions being asked.

This Writer would take a simpler view. I would tell anybody who is contacted to respond to the survey: don’t.

Source: Why has DWP hired Ipsos MORI to quiz PIP mandatory reconsideration claimants?

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Mum’s court challenge against DWP demand for UC claimants to go into childcare debt

Why should the Department for Work and Pensions demand that parents on Universal Credit go into debt over childcare costs?

Current rules say parents can get up to £646 per month for each child under 16, funding 85 per cent of their care costs – but they must pay those costs up-front and claim them back later, putting them in debt.

Some end up thousands of pounds in the red.

The DWP says this is to prevent fraud – but there are ways to do this that don’t push people into debt.

Just off the top of This Writer’s head: what’s wrong with having a letter from the provider, saying exactly what the costs will be in advance? That proof is as good as anything else.

The rule may be unlawful, discriminatory, and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (which I should remind readers is nothing to do with the EU and therefore is something by which they UK must still abide).

Now, single mum Nichola Salvato is demanding a judicial review of the DWP’s dodgy rule.

She also happens to be a professional benefits advisor and is supported by Save the Children – so it seems likely that she knows her facts.

But will a ruling against the DWP do any good? Tories aren’t very good at following laws they don’t like – and the general election handed them far too much power to do anything they feel like.

Source: Single mum takes DWP to High Court after Universal Credit hurled her into childcare debt – Mirror Online

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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