Tag Archives: child

#LevellingUp or #ToryCorruption ? Serco-employed test and trace managers take £1.5m per year

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he refers to it constantly as “NHS test and trace” in the hope that people will blame the nationalised health service that has nothing to do with it.

The Serco Test and Trace scandal gets worse and worse; it has just been revealed that some employees receive £7,360 per day to pretend to find people with Covid-19 and trace their contacts.

That’s the equivalent of £1.5 million a year. These are people from companies with strong connections to the Conservative government, that won their contracts via an emergency system which avoids the normal tendering process.

And it has already been established that most contact tracing personnel spend their time playing computer games because they are not being given work to do.

City AM says,

Sky, citing leaked documents, reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has paid BCG around £10m. That was for a team of 40 consultants to work for four months on test and trace.

BCG’s “day rates” for public sector work – which determine the cost of its service – range from £2,400 to £7,360 for its most senior employees.

The report said BCG is giving the government a 10 to 15 per cent discount. Although this would still equate to day rates equivalent to around £1.5m a year.

BCG declined to comment.

Sky also said that 165 more consultants had been hired to work on test and trace. They include 84 from Deloitte, 31 from EY and 50 from KPMG.

So much for Boris Johnson’s claim that he was “levelling up” the UK. Tory friends are being paid millions in public money while those who desperately need it are being starved.

While ministerial salaries are being frozen, all MPs are getting a pay rise of £3,300 per year – equivalent to around two-thirds of the current annual rate of Universal Credit for an adult aged over 25.

The lowest MP salary will be £85,291 per year. Compare that with nurses on £24,000. Who does the more important job?

What about care workers, who receive an excruciatingly-low £18,553 per year. Who does the more important job?

The Durham-based family of Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings have been excused from paying £30,000 in backdated council tax on houses they built without planning permission 18 years ago – while child poverty in the Durham North constituency has rocketed by nine per cent – to total one-third of all children living there – in the last four years… after housing costs were taken into account,

The social media are seething with discontent:

I think the following three tweets put the current situation in a nutshell, using the current northern lockdown as an example of Tory corruption at its worst. First, let’s set the scene:

Now we can go into details with this excellent speech by Labour MP Dan Carden:

Lastly, let’s remember that there was an alternative – but people were steered away from it by liars in the mainstream media who shilled for the corrupt Tories instead. Now what, do you think, encouraged them to do that?

Source: Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary : CityAM

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Rashford strikes again – belittling ignorant Tory MP over ‘feeding children’ tweet

Marcus Rashford: he is campaigning to end food poverty and the Tory government has said it will listen to his recommendations. But one Tory MP seems to be shooting wild.

Footballer and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford scored against Kevin Hollinrake after the Tory MP shot his mouth off about parental responsibility to feed children.

Hollinrake responded to a tweet from a member of the public asking why it was necessary for Marcus Rashford to make a stand for hungry children in society.

This person asked: Isn’t that the job of our MPs?

Hollinrake responded: “Where they can, it’s a parents job to feed their children.”

But Rashford had noticed the exchange and responded to it – politely, but firmly:

“I would urge you to talk to families before tweeting. To this day I haven’t met one parent who hasn’t wanted or felt the responsibility to feed their children…”

To This Writer’s way of thinking, he was too easy on the Tory twit.

The point is that, in many cases, it is Tory policy that has made it impossible for parents to feed their children; they have cut real-terms wages and benefits to the point where it is impossible to afford the rent, other bills, and food as well.

Hollinrake should have known that, but chose to express his ignorance instead.

The amazing thing is that the people of Thirsk and Malton thought he was fit to represent them.

But from now on – at least – he is a marked man.

Source: Marcus Rashford slams Tory MP for ‘feeding children’ tweet – Mirror Online

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This Tory had 1,500 indecent images of children including BESTIALITY and TORTURE. Why was he not jailed?

What the blazes is wrong with our courts?

Former Tory campaign manager Mark Lerigo was convicted of possessing more than 1,500 indecent images of children.

This was really depraved stuff including images of bestiality – sex with animals – and torture.

But he walked free from Warwick Crown Court, with nothing but a suspended jail term and an order to do just 150 hours’ community work.

That’s even though the judge made it perfectly clear that “any consumer of this dreadful material causes others to make it”.

So Lerigo was as responsible for the torture of the children in the images as the people who made them… but he didn’t deserve jail. That does not make any sense at all.

He had been judged not to pose a high risk to children. But if, by consuming this material, he caused others to make it, then that is not true.

Not only do the children involved suffer during the creation of the images, but they go on to suffer for the rest of their lives. The effects – both psychological and physical – last forever. Was that not taken into account?

I am left to wonder why this former Conservative campaigner got off so lightly – and to suggest that the courts review their advice on sentencing these cases, which is clearly contradictory.

Source: Former Tory campaign manager spared jail over indecent images of children | The Independent | Independent

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Child homelessness numbers when Covid-19 hit the UK shame us all. What will they be by Christmas?

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Stop evictions: this is a years-old image – still relevant today because of cruel Tory policies that push poor people onto the streets.

How did the fifth-richest nation on the planet manage to allow nearly 130,000 children to be homeless when a killer virus swept over the country?

The statistic should be a source of national shame, even though I’m not convinced by the Mirror‘s claim that it is the worst level of child homelessness in 14 years.

This Site reported in December 2018 that 131,000 children were set to be living in bed and breakfast accommodation that Christmas.

But I think a worse figure is yet to come.

Earlier this week, This Site commented on claims that reports of people living on the streets have rocketed since the Covid lockdown was enforced in March.

Children weren’t mentioned specifically but you can be sure that they were among those who had been turfed out into the gutter.

And how many children will be forced out of the protection of their home when the moratorium on evictions ends on Sunday (August 23) and landlords are again able to throw tenants out for no reason at all?

This Site has a tradition that I try to continue every year: in December I report the number of children set to be homeless at Christmas.

Every year since I started – back in 2012, if I recall correctly – that number has increased by tens of thousands.

I shudder to think what it will be by Christmas 2020.

Source: Homeless children hit 14-year high as 130,000 stuck in B&Bs and temporary shelter – Mirror Online

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One in eight childcare workers in England earns much less than the minimum wage

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

This research shows all the hallmarks of Tory employment policy: early years workers – predominantly female – are considered to be of low worth and paid less than the minimum wage, and have few career options – and the Covid crisis is likely to make matters worse.

It’s Conservative policy, remember: they have victimised women since they got back into office in 2010, with the so-called austerity policies attacking women far more than men.

One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour, according to new research which warns that low pay, high workload and a lack of career development are having an adverse effect on the sector.

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) report says… as many as 13% of childcare workers are paid under £5 an hour.

The workforce included apprentices, students on placement, volunteers as well as childminders, hence the low hourly rates.

Staff turnover is high at 13%, with one in six leaving their posts within a year, and 37% quitting within two years.

The report also highlights a lack of training opportunities for those who enter the workforce, which is 96% female, with just 17% of early years workers in receipt of job-related training.

Workload is high and the job carries considerable responsibility – more than one in 10 (11%) full-time early years workers reported working more than 42 hours per week, compared to 3% of retail workers.

It’s cognitive dissonance; the job is clearly highly-responsible and stressful, yet the remuneration is pitiful and there are no associated benefits.

Does this not indicate a political decision by the Tories?

That party’s notorious “nudge unit” has long been tasked with pushing people into particular decisions by making the alternative unacceptable.

Apparently they don’t want children to have professional care while we go to work.

Clearly we’ll all have to stay at home instead – or stop having children so we can go to work.

But if we stay home, what will happen to the economy?

And if we stop having children, well, there aren’t enough people working in the economy to support the current number of senior citizens, and that will only get worse if the working population diminishes – as it must in that eventuality.

So it seems that, by allowing childcare workers to be treated so badly, the Tories are deliberately trying to trash the UK economy.

And some of us voted them into office with a landslide in order to do that.

Were these voters ill, or insane, or suffering mass hysteria?

Source: One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour | Childcare | The Guardian

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Never mind rape accusations – this Tory has been CONVICTED of distributing indecent child images

This is more topical now a Tory MP has been accused of sex offences.

Note that Mark Lerigo’s membership of the Conservative Party was suspended after he was charged with committing crimes.

We may expect the same treatment for the MP who has been arrested on suspicion of rape – if the case progresses to that stage.

A former Conservative Party campaign manager has admitted distributing indecent images of children.

Mark Lerigo, 49, of Coventry, pleaded guilty to all eight charges he faced at Warwick Crown Court.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which investigated Lerigo, said he had 1,005 illegal images on an iPad.

These included 146 images rated as the most serious category A. The party suspended him after he was charged and he will be sentenced on 21 August.

Source: Ex-Tory campaign manager admits child image offences – BBC News

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Boris Johnson has committed contempt of Parliament and should be expelled

The two-fingered salute: that sign of contempt is all Boris Johnson has for you whenever he speaks.

Why is Boris Johnson still a member of Parliament?

There is an offence, here in the UK, known as Contempt of Parliament (I’ve mentioned it before). An MP is guilty of this if he or she deliberately misleads Parliament, and any MP accused of the offence may be suspended or expelled.

Our odious prime minister is a repeat offender. It is one thing to be “economical with the truth”, as the euphemism goes; it is entirely different to present known falsehoods to the House of Commons as though they were accurate.

Johnson’s latest wheeze involves repeatedly using inaccurate and misleading figures that exaggerated the government’s record on child poverty, in which he stated at Prime Minister’s Questions and in an interview with the BBC that poverty had declined since 2010, and there were now 400,000 fewer families in poverty.

There is no evidence to support the claim. This has been made clear by the Office for Statistics Regulation, whose representatives said that the prime minister had three times used official poverty data “selectively, inaccurately and, ultimately, misleadingly”.

This suggests very clearly that Johnson lied deliberately. This is a clear example of contempt of Parliament. Why has no action been taken against him?

The OSR added: “There is no wrong measure, but there is a wrong way of using the available measures – and that is to pick and choose which statistics to use based on what best suits the argument you happen to be making.”

The complaint, from Anna Feuchtwang, the chair of End Child Poverty, highlighted three occasions when Johnson made inaccurate claims on the government’s record on poverty.

At PMQs on 17 June, Johnson told the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, he was “completely wrong” to say child poverty had risen by 600,000. Poverty had declined since 2010, the PM claimed, and there were now 400,000 fewer families in poverty. Feuchtwang wrote that the 600,000 figure was correct.

When asked by Starmer at PMQs the following week to “do the decent thing” and correct the record on child poverty, Johnson declined and said there were “100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty and 500,000 children falling below thresholds of low income and material deprivation”.

Feuchtwang said that while the 100,000 figure was correct, the second figure was not: she pointed out that “there are actually 1.5 million children classed as low income and materially deprived”.

The third instance was when Johnson was interviewed by Andrew Marr on the BBC on 1 December during the general election campaign, when the PM claimed child poverty had fallen by 400,000 since 2010. Feuchtwang said that official statistics at the time showed the poverty rate had risen on two of the official measures, stayed the same on a third, and fallen by 100,000 on a fourth, suggesting it was unclear where Johnson had found the figure he cited.

It’s time for Johnson to put up or shut up. He must either admit that he lied to Parliament and to the people in order to justify his despicable treatment of the most vulnerable people in the country…

… or he must be expelled from Parliament like the disgrace that he is.

[Some of you may have noticed a similarity in the words above to an article I wrote about former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, seven years ago, when he was merrily lying to Parliament – also about poverty. This is deliberate. Tories have been lying to Parliament throughout the last 10 years of their rule – and getting away with it. They really do seem to be above the law and we should be demanding that this must change NOW.]

Source: Boris Johnson repeatedly used inaccurate child poverty figures | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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Child benefit scandal: a million more children in poverty, 900 women forced to disclose rape

The Scottish National Party seems to have taken over what used to be Labour’s job as guardian of vulnerable benefit claimants.

(And it’s a good thing; Keir Starmer seems to think he is better-occupied persecuting innocent party members with trumped-up anti-Semitism accusations.)

So we have the SNP to thank for revealing the latest scandalous details of the Tory government’s decision to deprive parents of child benefit if they have more than two children – and to force mothers to relive details of rape as the price of having that benefit restored for additional children.

Here’s the headline:

New figures published by the UK government have revealed that 911,190 children have lost access to vital financial support since April 2017, while 900 women have been forced to disclose that their child was conceived of rape in order to access vital funds.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss first discovered the two-child cap and the so-called “rape clause” in George Osborne’s 2015 Budget and has been a vocal opponent of the policy since its inception.

The MP has challenged the Prime Minister to scrap the abhorrent policy, describing the figures as “a horrific legacy for any government”.

She said: “The UK Tory government’s own data reveals the devastating impact of their two-child limit on families across the UK. Approaching one million children are now suffering financial hardship, the majority of them in families where their parents are working.

“This is a horrific legacy for any government. It’s time for Boris Johnson to wake up to this reality, signal a change of direction on welfare and scrap this pernicious Tory policy.

“Most shocking of all, 900 women have been forced to go through the process of claiming for an exception due to a non-consensual conception. Every single one of these women has been put in a position where they’ve had to fill in a form to prove their child was conceived as a result of rape or coercion, just to make ends meet.

“The UK Government has no place to hide in the face of these damning statistics. Covid-19 has exposed the gaps in the social security safety net – I urge the new Prime Minister to do the right thing and scrap the two-child limit for everyone”.

But this is Boris Johnson she’s talking about. Do you honestly think he could care less?

Source: NEARLY 1 MILLION CHILDREN INTO POVERTY, 900 WOMEN FORCED TO DISCLOSE RAPE – Welfare Weekly

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While Sunak offers pointless meal vouchers they can’t use, child malnutrition doubles in six months

The offers in Rishi Sunak’s summer statement were intended to distract you from this.

Of course child malnourishment has doubled in the last six months, because more children are in poverty – and were, even before the Covid-19 crisis hit the UK.

The number of households with hungry children has doubled during lockdown because children reliant on school breakfast clubs and lunches have been deprived of them.

And their parents – already too poor to afford to feed their children in normal circumstances – have been left to support their families on a fraction of their normal pay (if they’re lucky) or on Universal Credit.

But if they’re claiming UC, they’ve had to wait at least five weeks for their first payment – and possibly as long as 11 weeks.

They won’t be able to benefit from the Chancellor’s “meal deal” vouchers because their parents/guardians can’t afford half the price of eating out – which is necessary before the vouchers can be used.

And let’s remember that Boris Johnson wanted to end free school meals for deprived children during the summer holidays, only relenting after a high-profile footballer’s campaign won widespread public support.

The detail that makes this news horrifying, rather than merely appalling, is the fact that fewer than two-thirds of all hospital trusts have provided information.

It means the number of malnourished children in the UK may in fact have tripled – or worse.

What if any – or many – of them die?

Tory voters: did you really want that on your conscience when you voted your beloved Boris Johnson such a huge victory last year?

Almost 2,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of the year – double the number over the same period last year – prompting fresh concern that families are struggling to afford to feed themselves and that the pandemic has intensified the problem.

Freedom of information responses from almost 50 trusts in England, representing 150 hospitals, show that more than 11,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition since 2015.

Almost 1,000 under-16s with malnutrition were admitted as inpatients to Cambridge University hospitals NHS foundation trust alone, suggesting the affluent city has wide disparities in wealth.

Collectively the figures reveal 11,515 cases of hospital admissions of under-16s due to malnourishment. Fewer than two-thirds of all trusts responded, suggesting the real total figure is much higher.

Source: Cases of child malnutrition in England double in last six months | Society | The Guardian

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Government advice is for teachers to become Covid-19 super-spreaders

Ridiculous: one school’s half-hearted attempt to introduce social distancing for children so young they won’t pay the slightest attention to the new rules.

Take a look at this:

That’s right – instead of conforming with the advice for everyone else, that any contact with someone showing Covid-19 symptoms means self-isolation for two weeks, the Tories are telling teachers to carry on as normal.

This means they could spread the disease to everybody in their class – who could then spread it to their parents and everyone within all of their social circles.

In other words, it seems the Tories are setting up our schools as incubation centres for a huge new wave of Covid-19 infections.

Is this the “good old British common sense” that Boris Johnson likes to mention? If so, what a shame he is incapable of providing any examples of it himself.

This seems an opportune place to remind parents that they have a legal duty to keep their children away from any setting that may harm their youngsters’ help.

If they allow their child to go to school, therefore, and the child catches Covid-19, responsibility for the illness and its consequences will lie with the parent, and not with the Tory government that tried to coerce them into sending their child into danger.

June 1 is only a few days away. I wonder how many parents will send their children to schools that have been turned into deathtraps.

Source: Teacher? In contact with someone symptomatic? No need to go home or self-isolate, says government – SKWAWKBOX

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