Tag Archives: check

Here’s the reason the Tory fuss over fake Rishi Sunak ‘pint’ pic is hilarious

Not quite right: this image has been photoshopped to make it seem the pint of ‘Black Dub’ was badly-poured by Tory leader Rishi Sunak. The giveaway should have been the look in the eyes of the woman behind him, which is comedy – as is the response of the Conservative Party that once re-modelled its entire press office to convey lies about a previous party leader.

When Labour MP Karl Turner tweeted (can we still use that word, now that platform has been reduced to a letter ‘X’?) an image of Rishi Sunak, apparently having poured a pint of real ale very badly, handing it across a bar – to apparent shock from a woman behind him – who could have predicted the squeal of outrage from Conservative Central HQ?

It seems the image is a fake and the Tories were scandalised that somebody had used it to lie about their leader.

Who knew that the only people now permitted to lie about their leader are the Tories themselves?

What?

That’s not how it is?

But, but, but… the Tories do lie about their leaders – all the time! If you don’t recall, perhaps these words will jog your memory: “Factcheck UK.”

I wrote about this at the time – which was during the 2019 general election campaign.

During a televised leader debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn on ITV, CCHQ’s press office spontaneously re-branded itself as “Factcheck UK” in order to whitewash anything Johnson said, in the hope that the voting public would be gullible enough to believe it.

Very few people were – as I reported:

The Conservative Party seems to be getting desperate.

Its press office resorted to the dirty trick of pretending to be a ‘fact check’ organisation during the ITV leaders’ debate – presumably so it could tweet a (false) claim that Boris Johnson won the confrontation.

Well, that didn’t work!

Not only did people take extreme offence at the pretense…

… but they also decided to have their own laugh at the Tories’ expense.

Take a look at some of these examples:

 

Way to go, Tories. Not only did your man mess up his big TV appearance…

But you’ve also ensured that nobody will believe another word to come out of your publicity machine.

And now they’ve just reminded us that they lie, constantly and compulsively.

That’s probably not a good idea when they’re trying to win the public debate over global warming.


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Jared O’Mara: RIGHT-wing Labour’s candidate who went off the rails?

Jared O’Mara (centre): he was allegedly selected by right-wing Labour factionalists who didn’t check his credentials properly.

The former MP who replaced Nick Clegg as MP for Sheffield Hallam has been in the news again after being jailed for faking invoices to Parliament to fund a cocaine habit.

But did you know that Jared O’Mara may have only become a candidate because a right-wing Labour general secretary didn’t bother to check up on him before he was selected to run for the seat?

The details are going to be on Sunday’s Not The Andrew Marr Show, which you can register to watch here: https://buytickets.at/labourgrassroots/853159

The show’s presenter, Crispin Flintoff provided a preview of the situation on Facebook:

“Labour’s General Secretary in 2017, Iain McNicol, was responsible for the selection of Jared O’Mara. He decided that candidates shouldn’t be scrutinised in ‘unwinnable’ seats and Jared was selected because the Blairite-dominated panel thought O’Mara wasn’t a Jeremy Corbyn supporter.

“Such was their factionalism that when Jared declared himself a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, they withdrew funds for his campaign. But he still won.

“I’ve got the inside story of this on Sunday morning’s ‘Not the Andrew Marr Show’. It includes insights from Martin Mayer (formerly on the NEC), Tina Werkmann and Lee Rock (both of Sheffield Hallam Labour Party at the time) and Tosh McDonald (former Aslef official who showed Jared support).

“I hope that people can watch this and see that Streeting is ridiculously factional and economical with the truth (just as he is with the NHS).”

It seems this is another situation in which right-wing Labour sabotaged its own party – first by assuming Sheffield Hallam couldn’t be won and allow an inappropriate candidate to stand there, and then by disowning him and stressing his association with Jeremy Corbyn to bring the then-Labour leader into disrepute.

And these people are now in charge of Labour once again.

But I don’t have all the information – I have to wait until Sunday, just the same as you.

Let’s see how the facts stack up.


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Rees-Mogg’s Brexit shame: he admits UK trade checks would be ‘act of self-harm’

Jacob Rees-Mogg: he can’t laugh this off.

Import checks set to be imposed on EU goods entering the UK have been delayed for a year and a half after arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted they would be an “act of self-harm”.

But the checks were part of the UK’s conditions for leaving the European Union, so Rees-Mogg – now the euphemistically-titled Minister for Brexit Opportunities – is saying that the UK’s departure from the EU is actually harmful to the nation.

That’s a big u-turn from a major supporter of Brexit. We would be justified in asking why he has spent the last seven years (or so) claiming the opposite. Was it a deliberate lie?

“You’re admitting that this could save £1billion, which is admitting that checks would cost £1billion. I thought that post-Brexit checks were not going to be disruptive?” he was asked by [a] reporter.

“That’s why we’re not adopting them,” he replied. “This would have been an act of self-harm if we’d gone ahead with it.

“It would have increased costs for people and we are trying to reduce costs… free trade is hugely advantageous to consumers.”

It means UK exporters are now at a considerable financial disadvantage compared with EU firms importing goods into the UK:

That’s right – EU goods are allowed through into the UK with no checks while UK goods are still subject to comprehensive checks on entering the EU.

It means that the UK will essentially continue to depend on the EU to monitor food safety.

And who’s to say that other things may be imported into the UK, with no checks to stop them?

People, perhaps?

That would really spoil Priti Patel’s party, after she proudly fanfared her plan to deport channel-crossing asylum-seekers to Rwanda. What if they start coming by unchecked food lorry instead?

Port authorities are considering legal action against the Tory government to recover the cost of building border control posts they believe may now never be used, as well.

The simple fact is that Tories like Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson – who was the poster boy of Brexit alongside that other horror, Nigel Farage – never bothered to consider the consequences of their hasty and thoughtless departure from the European Union.

It seems clear that they had been led to believe in some possibly-mythical profit for themselves (Tories never make changes without expecting to make some money out of it, somewhere down the line).

But now they are being forced to work through the consequences of their stupidity as the nation demands that they solve the problems they have created, that are costing us an alleged £800 million per week.

Source: Jacob Rees-Mogg makes Remain argument by calling Brexit measures ‘act of self-harm’

Johnson Marr-ed – repeated lies lead to live-on-TV humiliation and fact-check crucifixion

That’s awkward – perhaps Boris Johnson thought he’d have the usual easy time on the BBC’s flagship politics programme, The Andrew Marr Show.

But it seems that the Establishment has already started shifting (prematurely) towards Keir Starmer.

So we all got to enjoy this:

(I’m not saying Marr had to point out the huge, ONS-shaped, hole in Johnson’s wage lie because This Site had already done so, but it’s nice to put it out there.)

Here are some more Johnson lies defeated by facts, courtesy of Peter Stefanovic:

He was tackled over the fuel crisis:

And then the Mirror fact-checked the whole interview:

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “What you’re seeing is finally growth in wages after more than 10 years of flatlining. What you’re seeing is people on low incomes being paid more.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: The ONS has warned it is “clearly misleading” to use these “distorted” figures to make claims about the health of Britain’s economy.

Inflation is soaring this Autumn, and is already sitting at a nine-year high of 3%. That means any rises in wages could soon be outstripped once again by rising prices.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “What you’re certainly seeing is the stresses and strains caused in a UK economy that is now the fastest growing in the G7.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: That’s only if you compare to the period January-March 2021, when the UK was stuck in lockdown. According to the House of Commons Library, UK “real” GDP fell by 4.4% between October-December 2019 and April-June 2021 – the steepest drop of any G7 country. The US grew 0.8%, while Japan fell 1.5%, Canada 2%, the Eurozone 2.5%, Germany 3.3%, France 3.3% and Italy 3.8%, the Commons Library said.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: Asked about justice funding after Sarah Everard’s murder, he said: “We’re almost certainly putting record sums into all parts of government.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: There are three problems with this. First of all, it ignores previous sweeping cuts to budgets under austerity. According to the House of Commons Library, the Ministry of Justice budget was around 25% lower in 2019-20 than in 2010-11.

Secondly, Mr Johnson’s boast appears likely to be in cash terms rather than real terms (factoring in inflation). The MOJ budget did rise between 2020-21 and 2021-22 – but only from £10bn to £10.1bn.

Thirdly, the Spending Review is coming at the end of this month which could put a financial squeeze on “unprotected” departments like the MOJ. The independent IFS think tank has warned unprotected services face a £4bn cut, and those areas – “including perennially squeezed budgets like justice and local government – are now facing real-terms cuts in 2022–23”.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: On fuel shortages, Mr Johnson said: “It has been abating. What you’re hearing now from the Petrol Retailers’ Association is that supplies are getting on to the forecourts.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: On Saturday, the PRA said that while the fuel situation was easing in Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands, elsewhere it was deteriorating.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “We’ve had to look after the British people with £407 billion of a protection for their jobs, for people’s livelihoods. And I’ll tell you something about that package, it was most beneficial to the poorest and the neediest in society.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: Not all of this related directly to “jobs and livelihoods”. 32% has been for households – that vast majority of that the furlough scheme and self-employment grants.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “You have no fiercer and more zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises than me, but we have had to deal with a pandemic on a scale which this country has not seen before in our lifetimes and long before.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: The IFS think tank has said the UK tax burden is set to reach “the highest-ever sustained level” due to the PM’s National Insurance hike in April – with various estimates putting it at the highest since the war, since 1950 or since 1969, depending how you count.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “The people who are paying the most for the NHS, the people who are paying the most to fund the NHS bounce back, the £36 billion that we’re putting in, are the richest, the wealthiest people in society. And that’s entirely right. That’s what’s happening.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: This appears to be a reference to health and social care funding, which is being raised through a National Insurance hike from 12% to 13.25%. You start paying NICs if your salary hits just £9,568 per year – a much lower threshold than Income Tax. It’s charged at a much lower rate once your earnings get beyond £50,270 per year. And it’s focused on workers – who are hardly all the richest people in society. The tax will charge nothing to the unearned wealth of landlords, for example.

All in all, it seems we finally have reason to be grateful to Andrew Marr for actually doing his job – and at a critical moment.

It means that, going into the Conservative Party Conference, we can all see the extent of Johnson’s failures.

And we can use this information as a yardstick against which we can judge what the Tories try to tell us over the next few days.

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Are people turning on Boris Johnson because they’re tired of lies like this?

Boris Johnson: He’s all ‘blood and thunder’ in Parliament but analyse what he says and it turns out to be ‘bull**** and bluster’ instead [not This Writer’s words].

Even the BBC is criticising Boris Johnson. Well, at least it’s sitting on the right side of the fence.

The Corporation fact-checked Johnson’s comments about the delta variant of Covid-19, made during Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16.

Criticised for failing to close the UK’s borders to travellers from India after delta was discovered, Johnson said: “We put India on the red list on April 23 and the Delta variant was not so identified until April 28.”

But the BBC fact-checkers pointed out:

It had been identified through genetic sequencing as being in the UK in the week beginning 8 March.

And it had been designated as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 4 April.

While health bodies are constantly monitoring large numbers of emerging mutations, they are given these designations only if they seem to be making the virus spread faster, making people sicker or escaping the defences put up by vaccines or prior infection.

At a meeting on 21 January, the government’s scientific advisers, Sage, said: “No intervention, other than a complete, pre-emptive closure of borders, or the mandatory quarantine of all visitors upon arrival in designated facilities, irrespective of testing history, can get close to fully preventing the importation of cases or new variants.”

And in its weekly update on 30 March, the WHO pointed out India had the third highest number of new cases in the world, with a 55% increase on the previous week.

So we see that Johnson allowed the delta variant into the UK from India for a month and a half before actually doing anything about it at all.

It is lies like this that undermine trust in the Conservative government – rightly. And this is likely to be what is motivating Tories (and former Tories) to speak up against him.

Source: Delta variant: Fact-checking claims about Covid and borders – BBC News

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Tories are denying Covid-19 test-and-trace system to disadvantaged people

Test and trace: if you’re credit’s not good, you don’t get to be part of it. The Tories are using Covid-19 to attack the poor again.

Typical Tories: if your credit isn’t good, you don’t get to take part in their new online test-and-trace system.

It doesn’t work anyway, so the penalty isn’t as bad as it may at first appear.

But it still represents an attempt to harm the poor – many of whom, amazingly, would still vote for their persecutors.

Disadvantaged groups may be excluded from the government’s online coronavirus test and trace system because it requires a credit reference database check to decide whether to deliver a home test, HSJ can reveal.

Source: Revealed: online covid tests refused to those not on credit check database | News | Health Service Journal

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Fact checkers have supported Vox Political’s claims about £70/week pension cut

Less cash for senior citizens: this story was about the removal of an allowance for dependent adults from nearly 11,000 people’s pensions. There is no guarantee that they will receive top-ups of the same value from other benefits, despite assurances from the Conservative government.

Independent fact checkers have confirmed much of what This Site has said about the end of ADI – the adult dependency increase – on thousands of UK pensions.

But this has done nothing to allay This Writer’s fears about the use of so-called independent “fact check” services.

I stated that the Tories will be cutting £70 a week from around 11,000 people’s pensions – and this is confirmed by Full Fact.

I also expressed doubts about the government’s claim that people who are set to lose around £3,500 a year as a result of the cut will be able to get a top-up from other benefits – and this is supported by a comment in the Full Fact article.

There are reasons to believe that at least some pensioners who were in receipt of ADI payments may struggle to claim the money in other ways once the payments end.

From 15 May 2019, couples who aren’t both over the State Pension age cannot make a new claim for pension credit, unless one is receiving housing benefit for pensioners.

Changes to Universal Credit mean a couple where one person is below the State Pension age are considered working-age and will share a standard monthly allowance of £498.89. It can only be claimed if the younger partner is eligible.

Steve Webb, who was minister for pensions in the Coalition government from 2010 to 2015  and is a former Liberal Democrat MP, told Full Fact he was “deeply sceptical” that the loss of ADI payments would be offset with other benefits.

He said recent changes to pension credit mean any mixed-age couples who were not already receiving the payment “have little chance of claiming it when their income drops £70 a week”, while the Universal Credit rate is “so low” that that they may not “get much even if they qualified”.

I’m not convinced about the criticisms of other reports in the Full Fact site, though.

The fact was that “It is not right to suggest all pensioners will be £70 per week worse off, given how few receive this benefit.”

But the infographic on the Wear Red – Stand up and Be counted Facebook page (for example) correctly stated that “The £70 per week allowance for adult dependents is being scrapped from April”.

It could have been better-phrased, to make it clear that not all pensioners receive that allowance – but then, why should any reader assume that they all do?

Some of us have concerns about the use of so-called “fact check” facilities, because it is possible that they could be used to reinforce particular political viewpoints.

Claims that articles are presenting fake news, that are not correctly explained (such as the Full Fact piece), do not instil any confidence at all.

Source: Some pensioners will lose £70 a week, but Boris Johnson didn’t introduce the change – Full Fact

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If Johnson thinks he can renege on his Brexit deal, he’s about to get a big wake-up call

Thumb up: but if Boris Johnson goes through with his stated intention to renege on his Brexit deal, the EU will probably tell him what to stick his thumb up.

Boris Johnson seems to think he’s the naughty boy of international politics.

You can just hear him: “Bah! I said we’d impose a border in the middle of the Irish Sea – but I didn’t mean it! What a jape! And what are they going to do? Don’t they know we’re British?”

That is precisely the point, of course.

Being British, he is in no position to go disregarding conditions of his Brexit deal.

If he does, he’ll lose something he wants – like… I don’t know… favourable terms on the continent for City financiers?

We were talking about that only last week, when it seemed likely he would sacrifice the UK’s fishing waters for a nibble at EU financial markets.

Now, it seems Johnson will throw the lot up in the air, just to pretend he told the Eurocrats where to go.

Even though he’ll be dumping himself – and all the rest of us – out in the cold.

Of course, there is another aspect to this – that Johnson wants to anger the EU.

Isn’t that the quickest way to the “no deal” Brexit that will (allegedly) pay back certain dodgy funders for their support in getting him installed as Tory leader – and PM?

Source: Brexit: EU threatens Boris Johnson with ‘sanctions’ if he fails to implement controversial Irish sea goods checks | The Independent

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Is this ‘signature check’ an attempt to cut the number of disabled people who can vote?

What do Vox Political readers think of this comment received on This Site’s Facebook page?

“We had a letter from the council this week for my wife to re-register for postal voting, with the reason being they need to confirm her signature regularly.

“Can we say something about this?

“We think they are trying to reduce the amount of disabled people allowed to vote. They are saying your signature may change over time.”

Has anyone else received this kind of contact from their council? If so, what happened and what is your impression?


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