Tag Archives: citizen

Continuation of Tory business by other means: disabled people make up six in 10 Covid-19 deaths

Targeted: more elderly and disabled people have died of Covid-19 than anybody else. Doesn’t that suit the Tories’ purposes perfectly?

It’s a sickening thought but it just might be possible that Boris Johnson and his Tories have been allowing Covid-19 to go unchecked – in certain places – because it is fulfilling their goals.

We all know that the Conservatives hate – I mean they absolutely hate – people with disabilities, for no reason other than that they have disabilities. It’s a classic prejudice that, if it were drawn along racial line, would demand prosecutions.

That’s why Tory policy since 2010 has been so brutal towards people with disabilities and has caused so many deaths. Just read back through This Site’s posts over the last nine years and you’ll see what I mean.

Covid-19 seems to have given them an excuse. It’s not just their policies causing the deaths any more – it’s the virus.

What a great way to excuse themselves!

I fear that is exactly how people like Therese Coffey and Iain Duncan Smith, not to mention Johnson himself, think.

Here’s Metro:

More than half of people who died of coronavirus in England and Wales had a disability, new figures revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 59% of all deaths involving Covid-19 from March 2 to July 14 were of disabled people.

But only 16% of the population have disabilities, according to 2011 Census data, meaning they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Targeted is the word I would use.

After adjusting for region, population density, socio-demographic and household characteristics, the coronavirus mortality rates between disabled and non-disabled people was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

And the benefit to the Tories was even greater among pensioners, who the Tories consider a huge burden on the Treasury:

For women over 65 with a severe disability, the mortality rate was 589.63 compared with 187.95 for non-disabled women.

Out of the 19,405 deaths of females aged 65 and older from March 2 to July 14, the proportion of disabled people was the largest, accounting for 67.2% (13,048).

In contrast, among the 2,766 deaths of males aged 9 to 64, the share made up by disabled people was the smallest at 38.5% (1,066).

I know: it’s a disease and it most strongly affects those who have the least resistance to it.

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

Source: Coronavirus UK: Disabled people make up six in ten Covid-19 deaths | Metro News

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EU citizen registration scheme isn’t risking another Windrush scandal – the first one isn’t over!

Bumi Thomas: this jazz musician’s citizenship of the UK is in the balance and the government has already tried to deport her.

EU citizens living in the UK may find themselves the focus of another Windrush-style scandal if they fail to apply for “settled status” – but it seems the first Windrush scandal isn’t over and people are still being deported.

According to The Independent:

EU nationals are in danger of slipping through the cracks of the government’s Brexit registration scheme and turning into another Windrush-style scandal, citizens’ groups have warned.

MPs on the EU future relationship committee were told by community groups that there was simply no way to tell whether how many people had been left out of the scheme because there were no accurate figures for how many were eligible.

EU nationals in the UK have been expected to sign up for “settled status” because of Brexit bringing an end to free movement, but campaigners have complained that the scheme is poorly designed and will leave some people behind.

There are concerns that some EU nationals – particularly vulnerable people – may not realise they need to register, and may find themselves being removed from the UK without understanding why.

This raises uncomfortable parallels with the Windrush scandal, in which documents showing that people had emigrated to the UK and had every right to be here were destroyed by the Conservative government.

The Tories then contacted these people, demanding proof of a right to live in the UK. When they could not produce it, they were deported.

And they still are.

Yes, government representatives have apologised; yes, they said it would not happen again. Either those Tories were mistaken or they were lying.

So we see twin brothers Darren and Darrell Roberts being threatened with deportation to two different countries after completing prison sentences because – despite having been born in the UK – the Tories say they have no legal status here.

Darren, 24, is being sent to Grenada because that’s where his mother was born; brother Darrell will go to the Dominican Republic in one of the errors for which the Home Office under the Tories is justly infamous – he has no family there because his father was born in Dominica, which is a completely different nation.

All children born in the UK are eligible for citizenship but there is an application process with attached costs, which have risen enormously in recent years. Some might argue that this has happened alongside the rise of overt racism in the UK’s government.

The correspondence received by Darrell is certainly racist; it offers him a financial incentive to “return home” – implying that his home must be a foreign country because he is black. This is a young man who was born in London and has lived in the UK for his entire life, remember.

Legally, the government will undoubtedly say it is well within its rights as neither brother has citizenship. But they were still minors when they were imprisoned and their childhood has been described as “traumatic”, so it may be unsurprising that no citizenship applications were completed for them.

Windrush was about sending black people “home” because they couldn’t prove they belonged in the UK. This is no different.

And what about jazz musician Bumi Thomas, who was born in 1983, after the Tory government of Margaret Thatcher passed their British Nationality Act that stripped automatic citizenship from children born to parents from UK colonies?

Despite having been born in Glasgow in 1983 and living in the UK solidly since 2000, she found herself fighting a -crowdfunded – legal battle to remain in the country of her birth.

An immigration tribunal judge has ruled in favour of withdrawing the threat of deportation, but she must wait two years before she can apply for British citizenship. Her status is still at the mercy of a divisive immigration policy – meaning her application may be turned down and she might have to go through this process all over again.

So it seems to This Writer that we should not be discussing the EU nationals’ registration scheme as “another Windrush”. The Windrush scandal is still going on.

EU nationals are merely in danger of joining the Windrush generations as victims of a racist UK government.

Source: Brexit: EU citizen registration scheme risks another Windrush scandal, MPs warned | The Independent

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War on the vulnerable: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit

Hostile environment: Nigel Farage had a poster created, stirring up hatred against immigrants. He was only tapping into government policy since 2010, when the current ‘hostile environment’ policy was launched by the Conservatives.

Did you know that 16 million apples have rotted away this year because the migrant workers from the EU who used to come and pick them haven’t bothered to turn up?

The reason? Well, it might be Brexit – but it’s more likely to be because they can’t get Universal Credit because of the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy.

The issue was raised in Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 23) by Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds. He said: “The National Farmers Union reported this week that 16 million apples have rotted away, because the immigrant workers that normally pick them for the country have chosen not to come.

“Immigration was clearly a big part of the EU referendum, and the Prime Minister has promised a points-based system, but that is not going to allow for people coming here to pick fruit. What does he intend to do to stop the scandal of British food rotting away in the fields?”

BoJob blathered some nonsense about there being “more EU nationals living and working in this country than ever before”.

Oh, really?

What about this, then? Read:

EU citizens are being made homeless and destitute after being turned down for universal credit despite having the legal right to reside in the UK, in what critics are calling the benefit system’s very own “hostile environment”.

Ministers are being urged to review “unfair practices” after law centres and welfare advisers reported a surge in cases in which EU nationals without UK citizenship have ended up in debt or sleeping rough because of incorrect decisions to refuse their application for universal credit that cut off their benefits overnight.

Claimants who challenge the decision typically have to wait up to 40 weeks for an appeal hearing. Welfare advisers say they win their the appeal in almost all cases, resulting in back payments of thousands of pounds.

I should remind readers that, by agreement, EU migrants who claim benefits in the UK have them paid by their own government; the UK government charges their country for the cost.

So there is no reason for the UK to deny benefits to these people, if their earnings are so low (Tory policy is to depress wages for the lowest-paid, remember) that they cannot afford to live.

Still, this is the situation: EU migrant workers are being forced into destitution because of Tory government policy not to pay their benefits – on the grounds that they are not habitually resident in the UK.

Is it any wonder they can’t be bothered to pick our rotten apples?

Source: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit | Society | The Guardian

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Outcry against ‘settled status’ registration scheme for EU citizens is rising

Dr J Gorski-Mescir tweeted that this was “the last time my family qualified for registration and ‘settled status'”. I hope the reference is not lost on you.

The image above is a mild response to the Conservative government’s racist demand that foreign nationals from EU countries submit to a registration scheme in which their details may be passed on to third parties for reasons unknown, and pay to become a persecuted minority.

I have already referred to the work of Professor Tanja Bueltmann in revealing what this scheme actually means for people who have enjoyed the right to live and work in this country for many decades – many since before the UK joined the EU in the first place. Here’s another video clip, with further information:

The following thread by James Chapman raises extremely important questions about whether the new scheme even abides by current UK law:

He also asks: “10. (one more, a bit leftfield, that just occurred to me) Has Govt taken advice on whether UK citizens who actively want to apply for EU settled status would have any sort of legal claim that refusing them would be discriminatory?”

Mr Chapman’s remark about the lack of media interest (barring a few honourable exceptions) produces one very interesting such exception: The Sun. That’s right – even the most rabid of the right-wing rags has attacked the “settled status” scheme as “sinister”, saying “there is a difference between ensuring control of our borders and straightforward hostility” and warning about the tone struck by “the silent threat of imminent deportation”.

https://twitter.com/jamesrbuk/status/1078956903735148544

Of course, some have tried to defend the scheme – such as Conservative MP Chris Philp. His argument turned out to be child’s play to refute:

Meanwhile, the following two tweets demonstrate the reality for people who, until Brexit, had every right to believe they would be allowed to go on living in the country of their choice, unmolested, until the end of their natural lives:

And some have resorted to satire. Here’s TV comic Jon Richardson:

Going back to Professor Bueltmann’s video clip, it stated that the “settled status” scheme shows ‘Leave’ campaigners were lying when they promised that EU citizens in the UK would be allowed to carry on living in the UK, unmolested.

It’s just one of many broken promises. In the clip below, former EU commissioner Viviane Reding lists just some of the main points:

https://twitter.com/BrexitRaab/status/1078948973749116928

Somehow, though, I doubt that the fact we’re all being shafted, not just those of us having to apply for “settled status”, will be any comfort at all.

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What’s the REAL motive behind the Tories’ racist ‘EU Settlement Scheme’?

Oh yes you are: The Conservative government could have granted EU citizens in the UK a continuation of all the rights they enjoy now but it didn’t. Now they face a future of persecution by the most overtly racist administration the UK has had in decades.

The UK’s Conservative government is creating a central register for one minority in the UK – EU citizens – holding data it can share freely and in secret with undisclosed private and public organisation in the UK and across the world. Why?

Bear in mind that the current Tory administration is well-known as a persecutor of minorities. Consider its treatment of the Windrush generation, of people with disabilities, and of those with long-term illnesses.

I’ve already explored the basics of this horrible idea.

Here’s the3million Twitter account – the largest grassroots organisation of EU27 citizens in the UK, campaigning to protect citizens’ rights – to explain the rest:

The thread concludes: “In summary, the UK Govt is creating a central register just for one minority in the UK, EU citizens, holding data it can share freely & in secret with undisclosed private & public organisation in the UK & across the world. This is truly shocking. /end https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/settled_status_app_data_privacy#outgoing-838331 

Professor Tanja Bueltmann has made a video clip explaining the implications:

In response to the latest revelations, she has added: “This is a *much bigger* scandal than the Home Office clip about settled status. Make sure you read this. Herein also lies to answer to a question many have asked me about what you can do to help: support @The3Million! One direct route to do so is here.

The link encourages you to become an “EU Citizens Champion”, donating funds to support the campaign for a legal immigration status that will protect all EU citizens and their families after Brexit and for the rest of their lives.

And if you need another incentive to visit the page and donate, consider this:

Will you really stand aside and let the Tories launch another Windrush scandal? Are you really the kind of person who’ll let a criminal government persecute anyone else, until there’s nobody left to help when they come for you?

I don’t think so.

Please prove me right.

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Tories have not backtracked on Bedroom Tax for pensioners – they’re just prolonging the agony

Labour MP Frank Field called on the government to 'ditch the proposal altogether' [Image: PA].

Labour MP Frank Field called on the government to ‘ditch the proposal altogether’ [Image: PA].


The Independent is reporting the announcement that the Tory Government has shelved its “pensioners’ Bedroom Tax” plan for a year as a “climbdown”, saying ministers have “backtracked”. This is not true.

Senior citizens are being forced to live under the threat of the plan to charge them for living in “under-occupied” homes for a year.

Perhaps some of them will be able to save up a little, to stave off the inevitable consequence of this extra burden for a little while – but that just means they will have to do without some essentials this year.

What will go? Heat? Food?

Life?

It might come to that, as they try to find an extra £1,700 a year, in some cases.

It always comes down to this, in the end. Tory plans threaten people’s lives.

And of course, in this instance the Conservative Government lied to pensioners about their plan, saying they would protect the elderly from the Bedroom Tax.

That was probably a lie, made in order to cajole pensioners into voting for the Nasty Party as it prepared to do the dirty on them.

And the alternative to paying up is moving away from family and friends, most likely to flats that are unsuitable for older people.

That in itself could be a death sentence.

But then, Tories don’t care.

They’ve had the pensioner vote, but the pensioners themselves are surplus to requirements now. They don’t work, so they don’t make money for the Tories and their friends.

They are expendable.

This delay is simply an opportunity to torture them – for Tory entertainment, most likely.

Source: Government backtracks on a new ‘bedroom tax’ set to hit thousands of poorer pensioners | The Independent

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Just to be awkward, Russia is bombing Syria

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria.

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria [Image: BBC].

Russia is bombing parts of Syria in raids that appear to have been planned, not to relieve the suffering of innocent people there, but to cause logistical and diplomatic problems for the USA and its allies.

According to the BBC, Russia has claimed it is targeting Islamic State, but a US official has said none of the targets appear to be in IS-held territory. War planes have attacked what appears to be territory held by rebels against Syrian President Assad in the Homs and Hama provinces.

This has created serious complications in what are already seriously-complicated hostilities.

Russia gave the US an hour’s notice that it would be launching air strikes, along with a demand that America and its allies, in effect, get out of the way – but we don’t know who the targets are.

America is, in its usual bullish manner, saying it won’t halt any of the operations it has already planned with its own allies.

This makes it possible that US and Russian forces will end up shooting each other – even if they say they don’t mean to. Americans have an extremely poor record in this regards – as their British allies in the Second Gulf War learned to their cost.

In the midst of all this, the UK’s damned-fool Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has asserted that this country will continue bombing IS, in Syria, for “as long as it takes” – even though the Conservative Government has no Parliamentary mandate to do anything of the kind.

MPs rejected military action in Syria, almost exactly two years ago. They have since approved strikes against IS in Iraq, but the ban on raids in Syria is technically still in force. Our personnel should not be there.

In the light of the new development, there is even more reason for the UK to pull out of Syria – but of course our Defence Secretary is a damned fool.

This is a situation that could escalate into a shooting war between America and Russia, if damned fools like him are allowed to continue running around like bulls in front of red rags. That should be the last thing anybody wants – but do you see anybody trying to stop it?

And what about the innocent parties in all this – the Syrian citizens who just want to be left in peace? Nobody seems to care about them, even though the addition of Russia into this apocalyptic mess means even more refugees streaming into Europe.

If anybody has any ideas about how to restore sanity, could they please make those ideas known – before we’re all blown to smithereens?

It all makes the fuss over Jeremy Corbyn saying he would not launch a nuclear missile look a bit silly, doesn’t it?

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Terrorism, Islam, and the need to keep the Western world in fear

Laughing at the law-abiding: IS militants at a captured checkpoint in northern Iraq [Image: AFP/Getty].

IS militants, doing exactly what the western powers want them to do, in order to maintain fear of terrorism among (for example) British citizens. [Image: AFP/Getty].

Does anybody else think the reaction to the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo – along with that against ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days), Al-Qaeda and, for that matter, Russia – has been, at the very least, off-colour?

Terrorists attack the staff of a magazine, claiming to be doing so in the name of Islam (we have no proof that this was their purpose and may never have it), so there’s a huge backlash against Muslims and the same magazine’s next issue – with a cover featuring a poor (yet still offensive) attempt at caricaturing Muhammad himself – sells five million copies; its normal circulation is 60,000.

Here in the UK, David Cameron does his best to use the attack as an excuse for even greater government intrusion into citizens’ privacy, on top of the incursions already enacted by his government.

Is it really about keeping us safe, or is it about keeping us down?

Some have argued that the western military-industrial complex has a vested interest in providing the public with a state-sponsored bogeyman to fear. During the Cold War it was the USSR. Immediately after Soviet Communism (which must not be confused with socialism) collapsed, the west went to war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – a regime formerly supported by the USA. Since then we’ve had 911, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 7/7, Libya, Syria and Islamic State. While this has been going on, the western media seem to be stirring up fear of Putin’s Russia.

Isn’t that only to be expected from a coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs*?

There is no doubt that the British people are kept safe by the efforts of our security services – it is important that this should not be misunderstood. Many of the threats mentioned a couple of paragraphs above have been real.

But they aren’t anywhere near as serious as certain extremely rich people and organisations want us to think they are. Look at Iraq – Saddam Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction at all! He was found in a hole, living on ‘fun-size’ Mars bars (if certain writers are to be believed**).

It seems clear that there is a system of control being exercised upon us here. You can see it for yourself, evidenced by the fact that we never seem to find ourselves clear of any threats; there’s always another one on the horizon and it’s always important for us to give up more of our civil liberties in order to fight it – and of course, we pay for all the weapons and ammunition used, with our taxes.

So, looking at this objectively, we should be asking ourselves: Who is the greater threat?

As far as the Islamic extremists are concerned, if we lived in a rational world there would be a strong argument for someone to go and speak to them (under a white flag or whatever it took to be heard) and point out a few important facts: The western military has enough firepower to turn the Middle East into a scorched crater if it wants to do so. The reason it doesn’t is it needs you to be the equivalent of a pantomime villain, to be defeated at regular intervals on the evening news. The West will never defeat you completely, because you’re too useful for making a profit for the arms dealers and for keeping western citizens under control. You are, therefore, nothing but toys. The only way to defeat this strategy is to disengage completely; stop the violence against the west that will never, ever succeed and find better solutions to your problems.

If we lived in a rational world, they would agree.

Wouldn’t you like to live in that world, instead of this?

*As described in Revolution, by Russell Brand. Cheers for looking it up, Russell.

**Cheers again, Russell.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Parliament recalled to debate air strikes on IS

camISIL

How do we all feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a Middle Eastern crusade?

He has always wanted one, and no doubt he wants to bury the spectre of last year’s aborted attempt to attack Syria – when Labour leader Ed Miliband did the impossible and, from opposition, stopped the government from having its way.

But exorcising that demon would require Miliband to oppose an attack on IS and this seems unlikely because the cause appears to be just.

Not only has Iraq appealed to the UK for help to contain the threat of Islamic State, but we have proof – from IS itself – that it is killing British citizens.

The Guardian has reported a cautious response from Miliband in line with the wishes of the Labour Party conference, which called for a UN security council resolution before the UK commits to any conflict. But the BBC is reporting that Miliband has confirmed his support for an alliance of nations – including Arab states – against IS, saying that the UK should not “opt out”.

Back in the Victorian era, when a British citizen was threatened in Greece, Lord Palmerston famously sent a gunboat and blockaded Athens. Cameron – who has been working hard to resurrect the 19th century – would be showing weakness if he did not seek similar retribution.

And the last thing he needs to show IS is weakness.

It would be seen as an invitation to launch further attacks against the UK – possibly even on our own soil.

Parliament will be recalled to discuss the matter at 10.30am tomorrow, with a vote at around 5.30pm. The result, it seems, is a foregone conclusion.

At the top of this article, readers are asked how they feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a crusade in the Middle East. Some readers might find that a churlish way of describing the matter, as the cause does seem just.

But Cameron’s motives are always questionable. He wants a war that will win an election for him, just as the Falklands War won a second term for Margaret Thatcher.

His problem is, he’s not as intelligent as Mrs T. She, it has been claimed, led Argentina to believe that the UK was weaker than was actually the case, in order to provoke that country into a fight it could not win. This narrative claims that she planned the whole thing.

Cameron has planned nothing. He is in the hands of circumstance and could just as easily become the victim as the victor.

And the British public is tired of endless foreign adventures that cost a fortune and bring no benefit back here.

Those are the facts of the matter – as far as it is possible to interpret them at this time.

What do you think?

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When will the BBC get its priorities right?

Covered by the BBC: Today's rally against the violence in Gaza.

Covered by the BBC: Today’s rally against the violence in Gaza.

It seems the BBC is delighted to carry out saturation coverage of popular demonstrations against injustice – as long as they are taking place in a foreign country and not right here in Blighty.

Compare the huge amount of coverage being given to today’s (Saturday) rally for Gaza in London, where “tens of thousands” of protesters have turned out to protest against the deaths of almost 2,000 people since “violence” broke out between the Israeli government and Palestinian Hamas terrorists (as far as VP is concerned, both sides are terrorists) around a month ago (picture above)…

… with the almost nonexistent coverage of a 50,000-strong march and rally against UK Coalition government austerity policies that have killed tens of thousands of people – if not more than 100,000, by now. Think of the Department for Work and Pensions and the 10,600 deaths caused by its policy on Employment and Support Allowance – in less than a year. Here’s a picture of that event, that wasn’t shown by Auntie.

Not covered by the BBC: The anti-austerity rally that attracted as many people - if not more - to complain about austerity measures that have led to at least five times as many deaths.

Not covered by the BBC: The anti-austerity rally that attracted as many people – if not more – to complain about austerity measures that have led to at least five times as many deaths.

It would be wrong to say that the Israel-Gaza protest is not worthy of coverage, because it is.

But when one realises that the BBC – considered the greatest public-service broadcaster in the world – habitually ignores evidence of much greater harm taking place on its own doorstep (literally, in the case of the anti-austerity march – it started outside the main entrance of New Broadcasting House), one is forced to ask very uncomfortable questions about the priorities of its policy-makers and their intentions, in depriving us of vital information about our own country.

Let us hope the BBC receives a large amount of correspondence remarking on this discrimination.

If you want to contact the BBC and ask why it prioritises a foreign conflict that has cost a fraction of the number of lives lost here in the UK due to government policy, here’s how you can do it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

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