Tag Archives: channel

George ‘Useless’ Eustace doubles down on lie that Tory government has provided money to feed kids

Defending the indefensible: Environment Secretary George Eustice believes children should starve during the holidays, asylum seekers should drown and people should die of Covid-19 rather than let the economy be harmed.

There’s a good reason his nickname is ‘Useless’.

Environment Secretary George Eustace has repeated the insistence of Boris Johnson’s government that it will not provide any funding to feed poverty-stricken children at Christmas.

Interviewed by Kay Burley on Sky News, he said:

Burley provided robust rebuttals of his claims, and could have also pointed out that there is a five-week wait before Universal Credit claims are honoured (if they are allowed) – and that free school meals were provided outside of term time earlier this year because of the Covid-19 crisis that has forced millions of people to take a huge pay cut and that crisis is still going on.

As for the £63 million fund to councils…

Useless – sorry, Eustice – covered himself with shame during his trip round the TV stations today (October 28).

After two adults and two children died on a boat trying to get into the UK, he supported Priti Patel’s line that, rather than creating a new system which would allow asylum seekers to apply for refuge in the UK from outside its borders, the UK should block off all legal channels to do so.

This, of course, creates a huge market for illegal traffickers to send would-be migrants on unsafe channel crossings in which they may die. To Dan Walker on BBC Breakfast, Eustice said:

As you can tell, he doesn’t care if Johnny or Jane Foreigner dies; he just wants to keep them out.

To top it all, when Walker asked why the Johnson government ignored the advice of SAGE to have a lockdown in September in order to avoid having more than 200 deaths a day by mid-November – advice which seems to have been borne out by the fact that 367 deaths were recorded yesterday (October 27) – Useless Eustice said Johnson had chosen to do what he thought was right for the economy, not for the people:

Eustice is a former public relations executive who apparently learned his journalism at Cornwall College in Pool, Cornwall – which happens to be where This Writer did a postgraduate course in journalism.

I don’t think he was there when I was. Otherwise I would now be filled with regret for missing the opportunity to contribute to the national well-being by putting him off politics.

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Ice Cream giants take on Priti Patel over refugees. But are their motives really so pure?

Yes, it’s great fun watching Priti Patel losing whatever’s left of her sanity shouting at Ben & Jerry’s.

The ice cream manufacturer took a side in the debate over asylum-seekers taking to boats in attempts to get into the UK:

And Patel ill-advisedly responded:

It seems the company has a history of political activism, and recently made quite a hit by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

But a lot of political commentators should have done a bit of research before voicing wholehearted praise for the purveyors of ‘cookie dough’ ice cream (my personal favourite, although I have to try to source it from other makers now).

Steve Topple, of The Canary is the only journo (I’ve seen) who actually understood what’s going on:

That’s exactly what this is.

It is impossible for me to support Ben & Jerry’s making a stand in support of refugees because Ben & Jerry’s has a factory on a former Palestinian village of Qastina, that was destroyed by Israeli troops in 1948. When that land was stolen, it undoubtedly turned a lot of people into refugees. Yes, it was a long time ago but I hope nobody is stupid enough to try to make a point out of that.

Ben & Jerry’s also sells into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land that has been occupied by the use of armed force, its rightful owners displaced.

It is unacceptable for a firm that is complicit in the creation of so many Palestinian refugees to claim the moral high ground over the issue of refugees coming to the UK – much though This Writer would wish the opposite to be the case when the other disputant is Ms Patel.

Still, we can always enjoy the fact that she’s #ShoutingAtIceCream – just for the absurdity of it:

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Racist Sajid Javid wants Tory government to break international law on asylum seekers

Sajid Javid: Pleading the cause of racism against asylum seekers.

It’s a common argument against the refugees coming across the Channel to the UK at the moment – why don’t they just stop in France?

The answer is obvious: They don’t feel safe there.

And the legal position is clear: The 1951 refugee convention acknowledges that refugees may enter countries through irregular routes and should not be penalised for this. The outcome of an asylum application cannot be pre-judged, irrespective of how that person reached the country. Asylum claims have to be determined according to the law and the circumstances of every individual case.

All of the above seems to have been lost on Sajid Javid, who seems to think it would be big and tough of him to refuse asylum to anybody who manages to cross the Channel safely.

The Prole Star is correct. It would be illegal to refuse asylum to anybody who arrives in the UK and demands it, based on the method of their arrival or the fact that they did not stop in another country instead. It is not up to him to make such a decision.

As Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott pointed out: “It is not for Sajid Javid to claim that asylum seekers may not be genuine. He cannot know. We have a system for determining that.”

Can you imagine what would happen if Mr Javid went through with his racist idea?

No?

Well, don’t worry – all you have to do is watch events in Israel, where the racist Likud government has announced that it intends to expel around 38,000 African refugees.

(I say racist because the hatred of people of other ethnicities is clear; Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the expulsions are necessary to protect Israel’s “Jewish character”.)

Many of the people concerned say they came to Israel to seek asylum after fleeing persecution and conflict, but the authorities in that country regard them as “economic migrants”.

The BBC report of this outrage states that the group affected by this policy “includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status”.

But the Guardian‘s report on Sajid Javid’s racism includes a comment by immigration and asylum barrister Colin Yeo as follows: “Sending genuine refugees to face persecution in order to dissuade others from seeking to come here is plainly illegal.” If Israel is signed up to the same convention as the UK – and it is – then it is illegal in that country as well.

And the words of Yvette Cooper, quoted in the Guardian report, may also be applied to Israel: “Asylum claims have to be determined according to the law and the circumstances of every individual case, not as an arbitrary political decision supposedly to deter others.”

Sadly, it seems there is no penalty for non-compliance – other than bad publicity in the newspapers, and that depends on the political leanings of their owners.

Perhaps Mr Javid thinks a little bad publicity is worth risking. It seems likely he’ll be watching what happens in Israel with great interest.

Of course, if a general election is called in the meantime, there’s a chance his racist ideas will come to nothing.

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Legal challenge to stop nuclear waste dumping near Cardiff

Don’t drink the tap water if you live anywhere near Somerset, Bath, Bristol or southern Wales – especially Newport and Cardiff.

That was the advice of net-based activist Tracy Kelly, in response to the announcement that 300,000 tonnes of nuclear waste is to be dredged from the seabed near Hinkley Point and dumped a mile off the Cardiff shoreline.

But a legal battle has been launched to stop this environmental disaster from being inflicted on the people of south Wales and the West Country.

Here’s the situation, courtesy of Ms Kelly: “Millions of cubic metres of radioactive sludge is being dumped in the Bristol Channel, contaminating inland waters, fisheries, oysters, seals, and will stay radioactive for the next – wait for it – 12,000 years!

“The sludge will create a whole new toxic sandbank which will be so big it’ll be picked-up on marine Radar and will be viewable by space satellites… George Osborne, the former chancellor who couldn’t answer a kid what six times seven was, made the cheap decision to just dump the toxic mud one mile offshore from Cardiff.

“The toxic sludge comes from the Hinkley A nuclear reactor. This is one of several dangerous old reactors in the west of England and western Scotland which have created no less than 19 million tonnes of toxic waste.

“About four million tonnes of that waste is dumped into the Irish Sea from outflow pipes near Windscale where there are high numbers of children with blood diseases and cancer.

“The French company building Hinkley C in North Somerset are the same people building a mega-reactor in Normandy which had to be stopped because the concrete dome cracked.

“Theresa May gave the French EDF company a ‘marine licence’ to dump radioactive waste in Cardiff Bay. Nice. Protestors in their thousands have written letters, staged demonstrations and also submitted petitions – however, BBC current affairs has refused to broadcast a single second of a single protestor’s views on national prime-time news – even though there have been concerned resident meetings happening since the year 2000.”

A barge made its first trip to dump radioactive mud off the coast near Cardiff yesterday evening (September 10).

That is the situation.

Here‘s what’s being done about it:

Opponents to a controversial scheme to dump mud from a nuclear plant off the coast of Cardiff have launched a last-minute legal challenge.

The Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping submitted an application to the High Court in Cardiff on Monday seeking an interim injunction.

Campaigners have argued Natural Resources Wales (NRW) failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and said core samples were insufficient under international rules and did not cover all significant radioactive substances from the Hinkley plant.

Here‘s some evidence in support of that statement:

Independent Assembly Member Neil McEvoy said… only 5 samples of mud had been taken from a level lower than 5 centimeters for analysis. The Welsh Assembly petitions committee had asked Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to require the French energy company  EDF (who are building the new nuclear power station) to carry out additional analysis, but this had been refused.

I imagine the petitions committee had made its request after receiving the petition publicised by This Site, here.

The Labour-run Welsh Government said NRW made its decision based on “expert advice”. It also concluded the material was within “safe limits” and posed no “radiological risk” to human health or the environment.

But it seems the tests on which this “expert advice” was given did not assess whether uranium, plutonium and other alpha-emitting elements were present in minute “particulate” form. As such, they can be more easily inhaled into the deep lung and the lymphatic system, and will emit more radiation.

The injunction is an interim measure – if the mud dump is to be stopped for good, protestors will have to fund a costly judicial review.

If you care about your environment, your health and that of your children enough to do something about it, you can add to the crowdfunding scheme that is financing the legal battle.

Please visit the website here to make your contribution.

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Boris’s bizarre bridge plan stirs up troubled waters

[Image by ‘Hopeless Surfer’ on Twitter.]

Can’t he just pipe down?

It seems Boris Johnson has decided that he doesn’t like the Channel Tunnel, and we should have a bridge between the UK and France – across the world’s busiest shipping waters.

It encourages one to wonder why he suggested it – allegedly at the Anglo-French summit between Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron. The following seems persuasive:

Let’s face it, there’s no rational thinking behind it.

And the slapdowns have been hard, according to the Daily Mirror:

The UK Chamber of Shipping tweeted bluntly: “Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges.”

And in a brutal slapdown, France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: “All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones.”

Asked if the Government was planning on building a bridge to France, Theresa May’s spokesman added: “I’ve not seen any plans on that.”

The Road Haulage Association wasn’t enthusiastic, either:

Meanwhile, the Road Haulage Association said a cross-Channel bridge “makes no sense” since the costs and practical implications would be huge.

Chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The Strait of Dover is the world’s busiest shipping lane carrying more than 500 ships daily, so construction would cause huge disruption to sea traffic.”

How about this one, from Twitter?

Here’s UK Shipping’s tweet:

How about this response?

Interestingly, it has been suggested that Mr Johnson was trying to distract attention from the substance of the summit:

That’s as may be, but he certainly succeeded in grabbing all the attention. And it’s a shame.

We’re letting him get away with distracting us all – with a clown routine that was worn out before he was shifted out of office as Mayor of London.


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