Tag Archives: Christmas

Good news for U-graded Gavin Williamson as Johnson announces courses for people with no skills


Ill-starred education secretary Gavin Williamson has suffered another setback by making a long-overdue and practically-empty speech about the effect of Covid-19 on universities – on the day Boris Johnson announced new courses for people who need new skills.

Williamson put himself forward as a prime candidate for such a course.

Here’s how one commentater described Johnson’s announcement earlier today:

Only hours later, others were to signal how fitting his words were:

Here’s some of what he said – and some of what people are saying about it:

On his responses to others, they had this to say:

In summary:

Of course he isn’t. He isn’t even supposed to be.

And we’re supposed to see that he isn’t.

Boris Johnson has surrounded himself with dimwits; it’s an old strategy.

He knows he’s nigh-on useless himself, so he’s making sure none of the candidates to replace him even match up to his low standard.

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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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Universal Credit forces ‘sandwich at Christmas’ claimant to beg supermarkets for food

Faceless: Universal Credit is an attempt to avoid treating benefit claimants as people. It is easier to deprive you of everything if they don’t have to think of you as a person.

It took This Writer a while to understand this.

Not only did the Department for Work and Pensions – through its function (you can’t call it a benefit) Universal Credit – penalise a woman who has had several strokes, including a rare spinal cord stroke resulting in lack of mobility which means she needs to use a wheelchair…

Not only did it take so much away from Carol Brice of Bridgwater that her Christmas dinner was a sandwich

Not only was it pilloried by public opinion after this treatment became commonly-known…

But it hasn’t responded to that bad publicity at all, and Ms Brice has been forced to write to supermarkets, begging for food.

And…

Worst of all…

Those supermarkets have, in effect, told her to get lost.

They told her they only work with charities and she should go to a food bank.

Tory Britain, 2020.

They bury you in bureaucracy and when you try to dig yourself out, they ignore you altogether.

Source: Universal Credit claimant who had just a sandwich to eat on Christmas day begs supermarkets for food – Somerset Live

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Alexei Sayle’s Christmas message to the disheartened is one to take to YOUR heart

I’m not going to say much about this because I don’t have to.

Watch, listen, enjoy, take heart and get back into the great struggle of our age:

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Corbyn was helping the homeless during the Queen’s Speech. What was Johnson doing?

Jeremy Corbyn: He helps the homeless at Christmas. Boris Johnson is off in the tropics helping himself.


We’ve established that, like most of the UK’s population, Jeremy Corbyn has better things to do than watch the Queen’s Christmas message.

He visits a local shelter for homeless people and helps out.

Apparently this is a shocking display of irresponsibility, according to ITV’s Julie Etchingham.

But Boris Johnson is raving it up on Mustique. It’s an island playground for the incredibly rich in the tropics somewhere, apparently.

So, of the two, which would you say was taking his role seriously? And which may be seen to be rubbing our noses in his extreme privilege?

Source: What Jeremy Corbyn does instead of watching the Queen’s Christmas speech – Mirror Online

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Buy the latest Christmas charity song, with a naughty title – and a serious message {EXTREME LANGUAGE]

“What a lark”: Jarvis Cocker is thrilled that his song is the centre of the campaign – and all proceeds will go to Shelter.

Campaigners are hoping to rebuild an atmosphere of “inclusivity, representation, love, acceptance and kindness” – by getting a song to the top of the Christmas charts called C*nts Are Still Running The World.

A Facebook group has been launched to get the song to Number One and it seems that people are joining the campaign in a big way – as a comment on the Conservative general election victory earlier this month.

And the great news is that all proceeds will go to Shelter, to help relieve the huge homelessness crisis that has been created by Conservatives like Boris Johnson.

If you’re unfamiliar with this particular opus, here it is (be warned: the lyrics feature one word that many consider to be extremely strong language):

Did you like that?

If so, buy it here: https://uk.7digital.com/artist/jarvis-cocker/release/running-the-world

And hurry!

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Christmas is coming – but DWP delays mean your Universal Credit payment may not be

Thousands of families could be facing debt – and possibly homelessness – this Christmas because of the Conservatives’ hated so-called “benefit”, Universal Credit.

Rules enforced by the Department for Work and Pensions mean people who are ordered to apply for Universal Credit after this week will face a five-week wait for payment.

This would put them in debt ahead of Christmas – December 25.

Take North Wales as an example. Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the membership body for housing associations in Wales, released shocking figures released revealing that 73% per cent of housing association tenants in North Wales claiming UC are in rent arrears.

The average amount owed is a staggering £585.

Data for Wales as a whole shows 84 per cent of housing association tenants claiming UC owe an average of £556 on their rent.

The figure is more than double that owed by tenants receiving Housing Benefit through the old system, according to CHC.

And the Tories tell you they have made improvements to the system.

Food bank use among people claiming Universal Credit has increased over the past six months – so there will be no turkey, mince pies or presents for them!

Many could apply for an advance Universal Credit payment, but this is a loan that will then be deducted from future payments, meaning they’ll lose up to 30 per cent of future UC payments until it is paid off.

The lack of cash may even force some claimants – mostly women – into “survival sex” work, otherwise known as prostitution.

The Tories won’t care. When then-Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey heard about this scandal – years ago – her only comment was that “perhaps there are other jobs on offer”.

She is the Tory candidate for Tatton so I advise anybody who lives there to vote Labour instead.

Labour itself is planning to pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) schemes in which everybody would receive a basic amount to cover their living expenses, with no poverty-inducing wait.

But that won’t happen unless a Labour government is elected.

What are you going to do?

Source: Delays in Universal Credit payments risk leaving families in Christmas debt hell – North Wales Live

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Insensitivity of Queen’s Speech prompts backlash against the monarchy

Insensitive: The Queen recorded her message in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace. If she’d had any nous, she would have gone to a food bank or homeless centre.

In her Christmas message, the Queen spoke about poverty – a message that was utterly undermined by the opulence of the surroundings in which she delivered her speech.

Rather than expressing solidarity with those of her subjects who are currently suffering extreme poverty, the monarch of the fifth-richest country in the world – who enjoys enormous personal wealth – seemed to be rubbing their noses in it.

She seems to have joined Emmanuel Macron in this ill-advised behaviour, and look how well the French people have responded to his antics – they spent weeks rising up in protest against him.

Perhaps the fault lies in poor advice but the Queen didn’t have to accept it.

The fact that she did means she holds ultimate responsibility for the backlash from the public, including tweets like these:

https://twitter.com/Tech_FTW/status/1077681202570629121

The sarcasm makes a perfectly valid point. A person as rich as she is has no grounds on which to lecture the poorest in the country about respecting people whose lives are different or putting aside our differences in the national interest (which is a Tory slogan if ever there was one) – the Mirror‘s Kevin Maguire tweeted, “Privileged wealthy hereditary monarch bunged £76m a year, sitting in front of a golden piano in the palace she’s billing taxpayers £369m to tart up, kills satire by lecturing the nation to pull together.”

Some pointed out that Her Majesty doesn’t practise what she’s preaching:

The brickbats just keep coming. Much criticism concentrated on the golden piano behind the Queen:

The Erard grand piano was bought by Queen Victoria in 1856. She and Prince Albert installed grand pianos in the private apartments of all their residences, where they would play arrangements of overtures and symphonies and sing together.

The current Queen shows no sign of any such leanings, so one might be justified in asking why she needs to hoard such a valuable item, while taking tax money that could be used on programmes to help those in poverty and using it to make her palace pretty. Is that really the decision of a responsible leader?

And is it any surprise, therefore, that her speech has led to renewed calls for the abolition of the monarchy?

Mark Adkins makes good points on this:

Amazingly, in the face of the astonishing insensitivity displayed in this year’s Christmas message, there are still people who disagree.

But I bet they’ll all laugh at the following response, as much as I did:

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It’s the season for Christmas carols – how about a couple from the Universal Credit songbook?

This is brilliant – and it puts the situation for people across the country in the boldest possible terms.

Some bright spark has used the plight of people awaiting their benefit payments as the inspiration for the Universal Credit songbook – an online source of new lyrics for Christmas carols, appropriate to the times in which we live, and to UC in particular. Here’s an example:

Possibly inspired by the above, someone else has composed a few words in memory of the homeless man who died a few metres from the entrance to Parliament earlier this month:

https://twitter.com/mickbognor/status/1076625820440031232

Feel free to download and read the songbook.

You might even like to record some of the songs and put them on the internet, in case the Conservatives are still in office next Christmas.

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Tories axe £10 Christmas bonus for people on Universal Credit

[Image: Max Albedo.]

The spite of the Tory rich knows no limits.

Even in the so-called Season of Goodwill, they delight in hurting others.

Let’s be honest, the £10 Christmas bonus for benefit claimants isn’t anything like the boost it was when it was introduced in 1972 or thereabouts – but it was still a valuable piece of public relations for our penny-pinching, privileged government of the wealthy.

Not any more, it seems. The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that the bonus is not being paid to anybody claiming Universal Credit.

Notice that no announcement was made; claimants had to find out for themselves.

But now the news is spreading, courtesy of the Twitterati:

With the Tory government teetering on the brink of oblivion due to prime minister Theresa May’s recklessness over Brexit, this could be a disastrous miscalculation – an act of selfishness affecting millions of people.

Spread the word.

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