Tag Archives: citizens

Letters wrongly demanding that UK citizens seek ‘settled’ status could be part of established Tory plan

Around six months ago, This Writer received a form letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, demanding details of my self-employed earnings from me (if I recall correctly) and saying my claim for Carers’ Allowance was in danger if I didn’t respond.

I found this behaviour extremely odd as I had quit Carers’ Allowance more than a year previously.

I wrote back, pointing this out, and also the fact that we had agreed at the time that I had done the right thing and that my finances were in order.

I did not receive a reply – neither acknowledgement nor apology.

I mention this because yesterday, on Twitter, I read the following:

It seems there are more such cases:

The Home Office letter, according to the article, tells long-term British citizens they risk losing the right to work, benefits and free healthcare unless they apply for UK immigration status in the next six weeks.

The article states that people are concerned that it reveals weaknesses in the Home Office’s databases, but I don’t think that’s right.

It seems more likely to be an attempt to repeat what I think the DWP was trying to do to me – catch me out by inducing me to provide evidence that could be used against me; a fishing expedition.

And the Home Office has the perfect cover for it at the moment: Brexit.

So officers can say (as they have) that they are using every avenue available to ensure that everyone who needs to apply for the EU settlement scheme may do so, before it is too late and they have to face other consequences.

They say the letter does include a paragraph stating that those who already have citizenship that they do not need to apply – but this is buried on page two, far below the shock announcement that recipients may lose their right to work, benefits and free healthcare (free? It’s supported by our taxes/NI).

It seems clear to me that the Conservatives are abusing their control of the UK’s bureaucracy in order to cause as much fear and confusion as possible, keeping the public off-balance.

This makes people more susceptible to manipulation – and more likely to accept that they deserve punishment when they haven’t done anything wrong.

It’s gaslighting – and right on the border of fraud.

It could be interpreted as a new development of the Tory government’s racist “hostile environment” policy.

I wonder how many people have been fooled by it – and how many other such scams are being run by the Tories?

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Evil Priti Patel rejoices as she ends freedom of movement for 66 million UK citizens

Happy hater: Priti Patel’s new law would have deported her own parents. The big question is: would she care?

“Dumpy she-Hitler” Priti Patel has publicly celebrated ending a fundamental freedom for every citizen of the United Kingdom.

Her Immigration Bill has just passed into law, meaning that those of you living in the UK will find it just that little bit harder to leave the country in the future – especially if we’re going to the European Union.

As for immigrating out of the burnt-out wheelie bin Patel and her fellow Tories have made of the country – forget it!

She didn’t mention that in her publicity tweet, though.

No – like the true-blue fake she is, she emphasized the aspect that would appeal to the Brexiters who voted for her cruelty…

… little knowing that it affects them as much as it does people from other countries.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that Patel’s own parents would not have been allowed into the UK under the laws that she has introduced – that’s the level of hypocrisy she exemplifies:

Still, it seems unlikely her parents will be upset by their daughter’s new law – father Sushil Patel ran for election to a council as a representative of UKIP, meaning that – in her family – she’s probably the nice one.

Vilification of this hateful spite queen has been running through Twitter since she made her announcement – but it seems she is protected by a thick shield composed entirely of bigotry, from which the condemnation will rebound like water off a snake’s skin.

We can enjoy it, though:

How ironic that this has come on a day when supporters of Donald Trump have been announcing that they plan to quit the United States and come to the UK.

They’ll get cold comfort here: all they’ll find is Priti Patel waiting to deport them.

They’ll probably end up on Ascension Island or St Helena.

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As if we didn’t have enough to deal with, Boris Johnson is reviving plans to end your human rights

Dictator Johnson: like all fascists, the only human rights that interest Boris Johnson are his own – which is why he has announced he intends to abolish yours.

They’ve been threatening this for years – since before the EU referendum, in fact – but now Boris Johnson might just be the one who forces it on us:

Unbelievably, some people are already rejoicing at the thought that the Tories will take away their right not to be tortured (although some disability and sickness benefit claimants would say they have ignored that right for many years now, in any case).

These people are glad that Boris Johnson wants to repeal their right to justice.

And they are glad to relinquish their right to freedom, meaning Johnson could turn them into slaves if he so desired (again, benefit claimants may suggest that the Tories have already imposed slaver on them).

How ironic that the plan is announced on the last night of the Proms, when – partly due to a campaign by Tories like Johnson supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg – sheeple were singing “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves” as though it had any meaning.

Will they be so happy when their right to hold opinions of their own is removed, and they are told they can only agree with what Dictator Johnson tells them?

Let’s be honest, the right to freedom of assembly and association has already gone. Johnson abolished that when he imposed lockdown in March.

I expect he’s looking forward to stripping you of your right to vote…

When they touted this a few years ago, the Tories said they would grant us a “Bill of Rights” instead, by which livestock such as you and I would be allowed such privileges as our rulers saw fit to grant us. Until I see the details (the Torygraph article is behind a paywall) I can’t say they’re even offering us that.

By the way: Yes – this Site has been warning you about this since 2013.

But Vox Political‘s reach is limited. Perhaps if more people read This Site, we would not have been saddled with the increasingly right-wing Tory governments we’ve had since then, culminating in the current disaster being run by Boris Johnson.

But we must not waste time laying blame. We must act to prevent yet another Tory-engineered tragedy for the people of the UK.

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De Niro torpedoes Trump: ‘he doesn’t care how many Americans die of coronavirus’

Robert de Niro: internationally, he’s more popular than Donald Trump so he gets to be in the image. Also, he’s not the imbecile who encouraged Americans to ingest bleach.

Hollywood acting legend Robert de Niro took to UK TV screens yesterday with a scathing attack on US president Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The multi-Oscar winning movie star, who has a longstanding record of political comment, told BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis that the atmosphere around Trump was “almost Shakespearian”:

It would be hard to deny the evidence: last month Trump suggested that people could avoid falling ill with Covid-19 by injecting bleach, and bleach-related poisonings in New York alone doubled overnight.

Trump is seeking re-election this year, and Mr de Niro’s comments that the president cares much less about US citizens than about keeping power could have a major effect on his chances.

And others seem to agree:

Source: Robert De Niro slams Donald Trump on Newsnight saying he ‘doesn’t care’ how many people die from coronavirus | London Evening Standard

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When did you consent to Amazon profiting from your NHS data?

Matt Hancock: as Health Secretary, it seems he has broken data protection laws by handing your information to a commercial organisation that intends to profit from it.

The Times is reporting that the Tory government has handed all your NHS health information to Amazon – free – so that company can make a profit from it.

And they did it without telling you – presumably in the hope that nobody would notice.

How do you feel about that?

When did you give your consent to it?

This is private information which, as a data controller, the NHS should not be passing on to anybody else. That’s the law.

But of course the Tories don’t think that even the laws they write apply to them.

Amazon has been handed the keys to a trove of NHS data it can use to develop products to sell internationally without paying a penny to the UK.

A government contract, revealed under freedom of information laws, shows the partnership goes far beyond the tie-up with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant announced in July.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said at the time the NHS should “embrace” the technology, saying it would cut pressure on GPs and pharmacists. But the contract shows the American tech giant could access more than just NHS website data.

The $863bn company can access “all healthcare information” gathered by the NHS at the UK taxpayers’ expense, including “symptoms, causes and definitions”.

Source: Amazon ready to cash in on free access to NHS data | News | The Sunday Times

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The #DeniedMyVote scandal: Now the UK can’t even run an election


The lies and political interference surrounding the 2016 EU referendum showed the Conservative government of the day couldn’t run a plebiscite properly.

Now it seems the exclusion of EU citizens based on the UK from voting in the European Parliament elections has proved the current Tory government can’t run an election either.

EU-born voters said they felt they were being “silenced” as this was the only election they had a right to participate in, being ineligible to vote in the referendum or general elections.

And it seems the government has a case to answer, as their names were crossed off the electoral register due to alleged “clerical errors” by local councils. This may amount to multiple breaches of EU treaties, including article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which states that EU nationals have “the right to vote … under the same conditions as nationals of that state [of residence]”.

It is unlikely that any election result may be voided as a result of these “clerical errors”, it is said that individuals have the right to sue for compensation.

According to The Guardian, “The issue centred on the fact that the UK’s involvement in the elections was confirmed late because of the Brexit crisis and that EU citizens were required to fill in a form called the UC1 or EC6 to declare they would be voting in the UK and not their country of birth.

“There were reports of people being told by officials that they should or could vote in their home country, something the civil rights campaigner Gina Miller said reflected a “hostile environment” creeping into the democratic process.

“But many of the complaints centred on three clerical errors: councils failing to communicate with EU citizens about a second form; councils not sending out the forms to people who requested them on time; and councils failing to register the forms when they were received.”

Is this because councils are not properly funded by the Conservative government?

Complaints that people were being disenfranchised were brought to Mrs May during Prime Minister’s Questions:

David Lammy certainly thinks the Tories should be brought to court over this:

Historian and citizens’ rights campaigner Professor Tanya Bueltmann said Theresa May had chosen not to prevent the scandal, despite having been warned several times about the extra forms EU citizens had to submit in order to qualify for a vote – itself in breach of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

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Tory racism: They denied NHS treatment to Windrush citizens – but don’t even know how many

While fabricated claims of racism and anti-Semitism are thrown at the Labour Party in the news every day, it is easy to forget that the Conservative Party – the party that runs the UK’s government – is demonstrably guilty of racism.

The latest revelation is that the victims of Conservative racism who were involved in the Windrush scandal were denied access to services, including some who were refused treatment by the National Health Service.

This is treatment these people will have funded with their taxes.

And Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid doesn’t even know how many of them have been treated in this despicable way.

And instead of forcing the government to account for itself (the above example excepted), our news media demands that we look the other way – to a Labour Party that has far less for which to answer, no matter what Chuka Umunna and Trevor Phillips have been saying (for details, see here).

How long until the Tory government provides answers on this latest development in the ongoing Windrush scandal?

I don’t know. They are probably ignoring it and hoping it will go away.

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Why did Sajid Javid silence Windrush citizens in return for fast-track compensation?

Sajid Javid: Blackmail?

The Home Office says Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) – otherwise known as gagging orders – imposed on members of the Windrush generation who suffered discrimination from the Conservative government are no longer in use.

To This Writer, this indicates that the government has succeeded in silencing everybody it wanted to keep quiet.

Why? What were they likely to say?

Clearly it is utterly unacceptable for the Tories to have threatened to withhold payments to people they have wronged, unless those people agree to remain silent – that is blackmail, a criminal act.

So we may suggest that Mr Javid is a blackmailer.

That’s not a good look for our new Home Secretary!

He needs to go back before the Home Affairs Select Committee and explain himself.

Shame that won’t happen for several weeks, or even months – by which time this matter will be forgotten.

I wonder what Windrush citizen Aldwyn Roberts, who recorded London Is The Place For Me, would say about it?

I doubt he’d be saying “the English people are very much sociable”; still it gives me the opportunity to use the song (he was singing it as he stepped off the Empire Windrush).

Sajid Javid has been accused of trying to “buy the silence” of the Windrush generation by imposing non-disclosure agreements on citizens in return for fast-track compensation payments.

The Guardian revealed last month that several Windrush citizens had been paid some compensation by the Home Office, but then asked to sign an NDA, to the concern of others still waiting for assistance.

Over the weekend the Independent reported others had been put in similar positions in return for speedy payments.

The home secretary told MPs last month that a new compensation scheme for Windrush-era migrants would not involve gagging clauses. “No one will be asked to sign any kind of non-disclosure agreement or anything like that,” he said.

But just days earlier, on 13 July, he had written to the home affairs select committee (HASC) to say that payments had already been made through other routes in some cases and an NDA could have been used.

“I can confirm that Windrush generation cases are sometimes addressed through this route … Whilst there is no requirement, settlement offers are sometimes accompanied by confidentiality clauses, depending on individual circumstances.”

Source: Sajid Javid accused of ‘buying silence’ of Windrush citizens | UK news | The Guardian

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Known liar says UK could lie about Brexit deal; what is the EU supposed to think?

[Cartoon: Ben Jennings.]

David Davis really should know when to keep his mouth shut – especially after his own Brexit ‘impact assessments’ debacle and the recent behaviour of his colleague Boris Johnson.

Let us remind ourselves of the disgrace with which Mr Davis has covered himself, courtesy of this video by Peter Stefanovic:

It is clear that Mr Davis lied about the existence of these documents. If anybody wants to split hairs about the difference between an “analysis” and an “assessment”, This Writer would urge them to look up a dictionary definition of both terms and consider whether there really is a huge difference between them.

Now he has said the last-minute agreement on the Irish border, citizens’ rights and the financial settlement between the UK and the EU27 on Brexit is “non-binding”.

According to the BBC: “He stressed that the deal struck by Theresa May on Friday to move to the next phase of talks was a “statement of intent” and not “legally enforceable”.

“Mr Davis has said “full alignment” would apply to the whole of the UK, not just Northern Ireland, but the Sunday Telegraph said Conservative Brexiteers had been reassured that it was “non-binding” and had been included to secure Ireland’s backing for the deal.”

This shows an extraordinary lack of intelligence from Mr Davis.

Only a few weeks ago, his colleague Boris Johnson caused an international incident when he said he believed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran – confirming the claims of the Iranian authorities who had arrested her (such actions are considered to be ‘soft’ campaigning against the ruling regime there). In fact, she had been on holiday.

Of course the Iranians took Mr Johnson at his word and threatened to double Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s prison term. The imbecilic foreign secretary is in Iran at the time of writing, trying to put right his monumental blunder.

Now Mr Davis has made almost exactly the same kind of blunder – but one that could have far more serious repercussions for everybody in the UK.

And why not?

All they would be doing is judging him according to his character: He lied about the ‘impact assessments’ and he reckons Friday’s agreement is a lie as well.

And he is, after all, the UK minister responsible for Brexit.

The harm to Mr Davis’s reputation is indelible. If you want proof – look at the reaction to his claims about trade deals after Brexit.

He told Andrew Marr that the UK could sign a “Canada plus, plus, plus” trade deal with the European Union “the second after we leave”.

What do we think of that? See for yourself:

We have a Brexit Secretary who has ruined his own reputation with a silly lie – and giggled like a schoolgirl about it when his falsehood was exposed, let’s remember.

He has acted in extremely bad faith and the EU’s negotiators – not to mention the leaders of the other 27 nations – know it.

And he has ruined not only his own reputation but that of the UK internationally.

Still, he won’t be resigning any time soon. Theresa May is too weak to demand it and besides, the stupid Tory government will simply try to hide behind another lie.

Here it is, in fact:

“New sense of optimism?”

New smell of merde, more like!


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Selling us a pup: Theresa May’s non-deal with the EU on Brexit

Theresa May meets Jean-Claude Juncker for their early-morning meeting. She’s smiling because she thinks she’s found a way to hoodwink us all into believing she has achieved something solid when all she has done is kick the Brexit can down the road.

Am I wrong? Let’s consider.

Here’s what Theresa May and the Tories want you to think has just happened:

And here’s what analysts are saying.

On the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the announcement today states: “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South co-operation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”

This means Theresa May and her EU counterparts have sidestepped the competing demands facing them – not to have a ‘hard’ border, and for Northern Ireland not to enjoy separate rules from the rest of the United Kingdom. And:

The BBC states: “It’s not entirely clear how full alignment could be maintained without Northern Ireland staying in the single market and the customs union, especially as there is no such thing as partial membership.”

The Daily Mirror is more scathing: “Everyone’s kicked the can down the road… The UK wants to secure Northern Ireland’s status without any special treatment through an overall EU-UK deal later in the process.”

There will be no hard border, but Northern Ireland will get unfettered access to the internal UK market – even though the UK is leaving the EU’s single market and customs union.

Even if an overall UK-EU deal does not secure NI’s status without special treatment, the plan now offers NI “full alignment” with some current EU rules it shares with the Republic – possibly including some aspects of the Customs Union as mentioned above.

The Mirror continues: “The words “regulatory alignment” – which enraged the DUP so much they called Mrs May midway through a lunch to scupper a previous deal – have been dropped from the agreement. Instead the Northern Ireland government will get a veto on any new “regulatory barriers” between Northern Ireland and the UK.”

Won’t this simply scupper talks further down the line?

“Meanwhile, the UK and Ireland can continue to sort out between them people’s rights to move across the border under the Common Travel Area. This will not affect Ireland’s obligations under EU law.”

And what about NI’s obligations under UK law?

“And Irish Premier Leo Varadkar said Northern Ireland citizens can continue to “exercise his or her right” to EU citizenship” – further complicating matters as not every NI citizen is going to do that.

On the financial settlement – often known as the ‘divorce bill’, Theresa May wants you to think she has beaten back the EU, and the UK will not pay any more than it must, meaning more cash for domestic concerns like “housing, schools and the NHS”.

But she won’t be devoting £350 million a week to those concerns, as Leave campaigners offered in the run-up to the referendum, so UK citizens should rightly feel short-changed.

And the wording of the financial settlement is opaque to the point of impenetrability. It states: “The second phase of the negotiations will address the practical modalities for implementing the agreed methodology and the schedule of payments.” In other words, everyone’s kicked the can down the road.

The BBC says: “A method for calculating the bill has been agreed, but the calculation of an exact UK share will depend on exchange rates, on interest rates, on the number of financial commitments that never turn into payments, and more. The question of how and when payments will be made still needs to resolved, but it will be a schedule lasting for many years to come, and it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever be able to give an exact figure for the size of the divorce bill. UK sources say it will be up to £40bn, but some EU sources expect it to be higher than that. No-one can say for sure, and both sides want to keep it that way.”

The Mirror adds a few details that Mrs May would probably prefer you didn’t know:

  • “The financial settlement itself will be drawn up and paid in Euros – meaning Britain will lose out because the pound plummeted on referendum night.
  • “Britain will have to pay its share of budget commitments “outstanding at 31 December 2020”.
  • “It will take 12 YEARS [for the UK] to be repaid the huge pot Britain has in the European Investment Bank. The sums will be repaid in instalments of 300 million Euros a year.
  • “Britain will honour commitments it made before 2019 for refugees in Turkey.
  • “It will also continue to pay into the European Development Fund in full until the current round ends in 2020.”

Is this really a good financial deal? It looks like a fudge to This Writer.

All right, then – what about citizens’ rights?

It seems that Mrs May has given in to the EU on most of the details – although the announcement that this is a reciprocal deal, meaning everything that applies to the UK will also apply to EU citizens, is a bit of a breakthrough for the minority prime minister.

Brextremists will hate the agreement that, although the European Court of Justice will not have direct jurisdiction over citizenship cases, UK courts must continue to give “due regard” to its decisions – indefinitely. Not only that, but UK courts will have to refer questions of interpretation (of the rules) to the ECJ for no less than eight years after Brexit.

The Conservative government wants us to believe the agreement is entirely voluntary and will only apply to two or three cases a year. We’ll see.

There are multiple blows for people who wanted Brexit to mean the UK will be able to control the number of people moving here from EU states:

EU citizens will be able to move here at any time up to the date of Brexit (March 29, 2019), and their rights will be protected under today’s agreement.

According to the Mirror: “If an EU citizen is living legally in Britain before March 2019, a huge range of relatives will all have the right to move to Britain – for the lifetime of the person already living here. That includes their spouses, registered partners, children and grandchildren (“direct descendants”) under 21 – even if they’re not born yet – and spouses’ dependent direct relatives.”

The Mirror goes on to provide a long list of other conditions that will have made Brextremists choke on their breakfast today:

  • “Mrs May’s plan to force EU citizens to apply for “settled status” appears to be intact – she wanted to let people apply after they’ve been in Britain for five years. But the arrangements must be “transparent, smooth and streamlined”, the deal says.
  • “People who’ve settled in Britain can now leave for up to five years without losing their settlement rights. Theresa May wanted it to be just two years.
  • “Residence documents must be issued either free of charge, or no more expensive than similar documents would be for UK nationals. A “proportionate approach” will be taken to those who “miss the deadline with good reason”.
  • “People who already have UK residence documents issued under EU law must have them converted to the new status free of charge – with only a security and background check.
  • “Benefits and healthcare arrangements will continue as they are now for people living in a country under the agreement before 29 March 2019.
  • “But in a blow for expats, there’s no deal on whether UK citizens settled in the EU will be able to move to other EU countries freely, or will be fixed in the country they’re in now.”

Is that really “securing” everybody’s “rights”? Or is it simply doing as we’re told by the EU negotiators?

Let’s all remember the following, from the agreement document: “Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out… in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail.”

This means nothing has been delivered at all.

Everything that has been agreed so far could be thrown away if future stages of Brexit negotiations run into difficulty or unravel altogether.

And commentators in the social media have already sniffed out the devils in the details:

And supporters of the deal are being hammered:

To This Writer, it seems we’re being sold a pup.

The details of the Irish border agreement have been delayed, as has the final agreement on the financial settlement, despite the fact that we were all told these must be finalised before negotiations move on to trading deals.

And the deal on citizens’ rights seems to be everything the EU could want it to be, while ‘Leave’ voters will feel that they have been left out in the cold.

But all the negotiating parties seem happy to let this non-deal stand.

I wonder what Parliament will do with it, let alone what the representatives of the EU’s 27 remaining states will think, when they discuss it on December 14.


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