Tag Archives: civil

Dictator Johnson threatens MARTIAL LAW if we play five-a-side or stay in the pub after 10pm

Dictator Johnson: he’s putting troops on the streets to enforce his will. Remember this comes before a harmful Brexit, and he is planning to abolish our human rights. Do you feel safe with this man in charge?

Boris Johnson appears to have lost whatever grip on reality he had left.

Announcing new restrictions on public freedom in England, in his latest bid to show he’s doing something about Covid-19, he threatened to bring in the armed forces to enforce them.

And what are these new restrictions? Here:

All citizens are being told to work from home if they can with immediate effect – and from Thursday, all pubs, restaurants and even kebab shops and takeaways must shut from 10pm.

Masks will become compulsory for shop and pub staff, taxi passengers within days – while the fine for breaking the ‘rule of six’ on gatherings will double to £200.

Only 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings from Monday and five-a-side football will be axed.

That’s the lot.

And Johnson had the following to add:

Boris Johnson has said the military could be deployed in England to help with the enforcement of new coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, the prime minister said there would now be “greater police presence” on the streets with “the option to draw on military support where required”.

The prime minister’s spokesperson said the military could be used to backfill certain police duties, such as office roles and guarding protected sites, so police officers can be out enforcing the virus response.

That seems a sop to the masses – an attempt to co-opt our support for having the military invading our daily lives.

“This is not about providing any additional powers to the military, or them replacing the police in enforcement roles, and they will not be handing out fines. It is about freeing up more police officers,” the spokesperson said.

And how long will that last before more powers are granted to the military? Before our guardians become our keepers?

Possibly the worst aspect of this is the fact that the Labour Party – Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to the Johnson government – has no interest in opposing:

Johnson said MPs will have the opportunity to debate the new coronavirus measures next week.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said Johnson was “right” to announce further measures. “We support those measures,” he said.

This is terrifying.

It seems our political leaders are colluding to take our freedoms away from us, using the pandemic as an excuse.

Is it really a coincidence that this introduction of the military into our daily lives is happening just months before Johnson takes us through a potentially traumatic end to the Brexit process that is likely to cause shortages of goods including foods, along with unemployment and civil unrest?

Johnson is preparing to put down any such unrest with military force.

But don’t just take my word for it:

Even Brexit Party bigwig – and hence arch-Brexiteer – Richard Tice thinks this is a step too far:

What do you think?

Source: Military Could Help Police Enforce New Coronavirus Rules, Says Boris Johnson | HuffPost UK

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Civil disobedience: would parents be irresponsible to send their children back to school now?

Closed: schools in England should stay that way because the Tory government cannot guarantee that they are safe – and parents will be legally responsible if their children catch Covid-19 while following the government’s demand that they attend.

If English parents send their children back to school on Monday (June 1), they will carry responsibility if their child catches Covid-19 as a result.

It seems the Tory government isn’t telling anybody about that part of the law on parental responsibility.

This Writer is grateful to one such parent, who writes:

You have a legal obligation to not send your child anywhere you believe to be unsafe.

If you suspect your child is going to be harmed and you send them anyway and they get harmed, you are legally liable.

You cannot be made non-liable either, not while you have parental responsibility and they can’t penalise you for fulfilling a legal obligation.

So the law seems clear, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic:

There is no guarantee that children will be safe from catching this potentially deadly disease at school.

If they catch it, then it doesn’t matter whether they show symptoms or not – they will still be vulnerable to the variant of Kawasaki disease that has proved fatal in several cases both in the UK and around the world.

Parents have a responsibility to keep children away from places where they may be endangered – and these places currently include schools.

If the child catches Covid-19, or contracts the Kawasaki variant, at school then the parent will be legally responsible for it – not the Tory government that demanded that the child must go back to school.

So the law tells us that parents must keep their children away from school, no matter what the government says.

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It’s civil servants v Boris Johnson over Priti Patel’s bullying. Who’s going to believe the known liar?

Priti Patel: smug as ever – perhaps because she’s got Boris Johnson making sure she’ll remain as Home Secretary no matter what is said against her.

Civil servants are now lining up to condemn Home Secretary Priti Patel, while she has support from liars like Boris Johnson and other former – disgraced – ministers like Liam Fox.

A civil servant writing in The Guardian tells us: “Civil servants are supposed to silently get on with it while ministers take the flak… But this very British convention of public life… is now being shredded by an emboldened administration still flexing its muscular majority.

“More colleagues are now coming forward with further allegations against Patel during her time as an employment minister in 2015. That’s in addition to claims that she, as international development secretary, openly called her staff “fucking useless”.

“So it might not be a stretch to say that this feels like like a sort of #MeToo moment for the civil service. Those who, like me, have been around government for several years reckon more allegations are on the way. There may be blood.”

But the writer says it probably won’t be Ms Patel’s.

Yes, there will be a Cabinet Office investigation – but the minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, has already given her his support.

Not only that: Boris Johnson told MPs he was “sticking by” Ms Patel during Prime Minister’s Questions, saying she was “delivering change, putting police out on the street, cutting crime, and delivering a new immigration system”. He is a known liar, of course.

Oh, and how about this endorsement?

Liam Fox was, if I recall correctly, the very first member of the Conservative government from 2010 onwards who was forced to resign in disgrace.

That is the kind of support she is getting.

Ms Patel may stay on as Home Secretary – let’s face it, it seems clear that Johnson is rigging any investigation in her favour – but she’ll never live down the scandal.

Civil servants don’t make this kind of fuss about nothing.

And she has already been forced to resign from a previous Cabinet job after she tried to carry out her own foreign policy, independent of even the Tory government’s.

As far as This Writer is concerned, she is poison. If she stays, she’ll become a symbol of Tory government bullying, lies and corruption.

Source: The Priti Patel allegations are turning into a #MeToo moment for the civil service | The civil servant | Opinion | The Guardian

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Calls for independent inquiry into Patel’s behaviour as evidence mounts up

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

The Cabinet Office has launched an inquiry into whether Priti Patel has breached the ministerial code by bullying civil servants under her.

But MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are demanding an independent inquisition as more evidence against her comes to light.

For example, Sir Philip Rutnam’s claim that he was offered a “financial settlement” to keep him from speaking out about the “vicious and orchestrated” plot against him may be validated by claims that another civil servant was driven to a suicide attempt by Ms Patel’s behaviour towards her at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The person involved apparently was shouted at, told to get lost and dismissed from her job in the minister’s private office because Ms Patel “doesn’t like your face”, according to legal correspondence seen by the BBC. She took an overdose of prescription medicines and had to be taken home by her husband, where she attempted to kill herself, the legal correspondence said.

The victim later brought a complaint for unfair dismissal, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, but the DWP hushed it up with a £25,000 settlement without admitting liability.

Worse than this is the claim that Boris Johnson himself has given support to ministers who wish to smear top civil servants.

Dave Penman, head of the senior civil servants union, the FDA, said Johnson and his closest aides have “ripped up the rule book” that ensured the ministers do not attack civil servants.

The allegation means it would be impossible to trust the finding of a Cabinet Office inquiry which could be influenced by Johnson.

Meanwhile the pressure is building against Ms Patel, with calls increasing for her to be suspended as a minister while her behaviour is investigated.

This is a power struggle at the heart of government.

Or so it seems to This Writer.

On one side, we have a civil service staffed by experts on government who know that politics is “the art of the possible” and are bound to advise MPs on how much of their plans are both possible and advisable.

On the other: a rabble of hard-right Tory authoritarians whose belief that their orders should be obeyed – no matter how insane – has been compared with fascism.

You’d better pray that the side of reason wins.

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Vox Political boss’s court joy is first step in new battle

Lawyers for the Labour Party have been sent away to think again after entirely failing to understand the allegations against them in a court battle – against me.

That’s right, This Writer has challenged the Labour Party over its decision to expel me from membership on charges relating to anti-Semitism, using a compromised disciplinary procedure that, I am alleging, breaches the terms of the party’s contract with its members.

My contention is that the party breached our contract by failing to follow its own disciplinary rules in investigating a complaint against me, by charging me with breaking a rule that did not exist at the time the complaint was made (let alone when I wrote the articles to which it related), and with two data protection breaches: passing information about me – including false information – to third parties and failing to honour a subject access request.

As I was making a money claim, I had to attach a value to the allegation. So I pointed out that my party membership had been suspended – and I had been denied permission to take part in any party activities – from the moment the disciplinary process against me was activated. As that process had been prejudiced against me, the outcome was wrong and I should not have been expelled. Therefore my party subscriptions for that period should be returned to me.

And I requested a declaration by the court that Labour had been wrong to expel me.

The party’s lawyers had failed to realise that a data protection breach can also constitute a breach of contract and had tried to say the part of my charge relating to them had not been properly made out. The judge disagreed.

To my joy, he explained that he had read the claim against Labour in exactly the way I had intended – and that it was Labour’s mistake to see it otherwise.

I think I’m right in saying we all agreed, though, that the online submission form run by HM Courts and Tribunals Service was not clear in its instructions and had failed to provide me with the information I needed, in order to provide the court – and the defendant – with the necessary information in the form it expected.

Labour had expected a charge, followed by itemised particulars, but the online form had not requested that – it had called for me to write the reasons for my claim, which I did in narrative form.

(I had expected to be contacted again with instructions on how to provide a properly made-out charge sheet, but this had not happened, hence the confusion).

The judge kindly decided that this was not the fault of either myself or the defendant.

But he said it would be unfair to try the case there and then – not only because Labour had not properly grasped the issues but because there was only an hour’s time left to do so, and there was far too much evidence to consider.

So he adjourned the case, to allow me to prepare a charge sheet, with particulars, and for Labour to draft a new response, and possibly to gather evidence and witness statements.

He also pointed out that this case has implications that go far beyond a small money claim.

If the court finds against the Labour Party, it can only harm that organisation’s reputation.

And think what may happen if the court declares that the party wrongly expelled a member charged with offences relating to anti-Semitism!

On hearing this, the party’s advocate asked for the case to be transferred to the next level of civil court proceedings – the ‘fast track’, in which the costs to the parties are much higher. The judge told me I would have to pay £7,000-£10,000 over the course of only a few months.

But he had already offered us the opportunity to change track and we had both turned it down (Labour in the knowledge of what a finding against it would mean), so he ruled against Labour’s request. He said the reputational damage to Labour would arise from a finding against it, not from the remedy.

The judge also expressed surprise that no members of the press were present at the hearing in Bristol Civil Justice Centre yesterday.

Well, I’ll give them ample warning before the next hearing.

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Babyish Boris Johnson is having a tantrum – if he can’t have his Brexit he’ll try to cause chaos

Boris Johnson: He doesn’t like it when events conspire against him.

Here’s some more evidence that Boris Johnson is in hock to hedge fund bosses who’ve bet on a “no deal” Brexit.

It seems he’s now saying he’ll resign as prime minister – taking his entire cabinet with him – if the EU doesn’t give him the Brexit he wants.

He seems to think that this will make it impossible for Parliament to do anything – but it seems that, like everything else so far, he got that wrong.

Most significantly, it seems BoJob is hoping the UK will be unable to call on the EU for Brexit to be delayed, as required by the so-called “Benn Act” forbidding a “no deal” Brexit.

In fact, it seems Parliament will simply empower Speaker John Bercow to write the letter – the chairman of meetings in the House of Commons acting on the will of that chamber.

And Mr Johnson is facing a rebellion by civil servants, who may find themselves ordered to break the law if he follows this course. They would either resign or demand a public declaration that they were ordered into lawbreaking.

So it seems this plan is unlikely to placate any shadowy backers BoJob may (or may not) have.

As for what the threat to quit government means – it seems he believes Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn would be unable to form a government within the 14 days required by law and a general election would be called, to take place in December.

This implies that the Liberal Democrats, under Tory-supporting Jo Swinson, would not support Mr Corbyn as leader, despite the fact that failure to do so means the UK continues to edge towards a Brexit that she claims to oppose.

Now, why would the leader of the ‘Party of Remain’ want to do that?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘will collapse government’ if EU refuse new deal and force election – Mirror Online

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Martial law plan for post-Brexit Britain shows This Site was right again

Theresa and the troops: I used this image in my previous article on martial law, but it seems she really does mean to rely on them to keep her in power after she stubbornly forces the worst possible Brexit on us all.

I know it’s a dodgy source – The Sunday Times – but if it is accurate, the claim in that paper that the Conservative government is preparing to declare martial law marks the third in a series of correct predictions for Vox Political, despite the claims of some readers.

People told me Jaguar Land Rover was making decisions because of wider economic reasons than Brexit – until a press release from the company made it clear that uncertainty over that situation was directly responsible for the decision to halt production for an extra week during the summer.

After my story about the double standards that allowed Rachel Riley to complain that she needed extra security on Countdown because of death threats, after she brought death threats down on an innocent teenage girl with anxiety issues by falsely tweeting that she was an anti-Semite, I predicted that Ms Riley’s followers would revive the false accusations against me – and they did.

And now: Do you remember a commenter on this site stating, “3,500 troops could not enforce martial law on a country of 60 million,” after I stated it suggested Theresa May was preparing to impose martial law on the UK after a “no deal” Brexit? Well, it seems I was right again.

In that previous article, I stated: “Martial law would preserve her government – sorry, dictatorship – against the civil unrest that her policies seem certain to provoke.”

Now we discover (I got this from the i, as I refuse to pay money to the Murdoch machine): “Britain is preparing to declare a state of emergency and introduce martial law in the event of disorder after a no-deal Brexit, according to officials who say the Cobra emergency committee will be able to deploy the army to quell rioting.”

The i article states: “Powers available under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 would allow ministers to impose curfews, travels bans, confiscate property and deploy the armed forces to quell rioting.

It quoted a Sunday Times source who said: “The over-riding theme in all the no-deal planning is civil disobedience and the fear that it will lead to death in the event of food and medical shortages.”

And another source said a no-deal Brexit would be “about a thousand times worse” than the volcanic ash cloud crisis of 2010, adding: “The only other thing that would be comparable would be something like a major Europe-wide war.”

Inevitably, the claim has provoked a strong response from the public:

Of course, martial law is an extreme measure that would be imposed only in dire need – or if a government is desperate to keep power in spite of the will of the people.

Do you trust Theresa May not to follow the latter path?

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Another sick Tory joke: Zero-hours contracts for civil servants

Somebody should remind the Conservative Party of the old adage that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

We certainly have monkeys running the UK government at the moment, because more than 80,000 full-time civil servants have left their jobs since the Conservatives started their reign of idiocy in 2010.

Now you know why nothing works properly.

The Tories actually thought it was a good idea to get rid of the people who actually know how to run government properly – Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove have been particularly keen on this.

Now, despite planning to get rid of a further 80,000 experienced and intelligent public servants – and thereby plunge the United Kingdom further into their new Dark Age, the Tories have started re-hiring some of the old hands they have already laid off.

Here’s the catch: They’re coming back on zero-hours contracts.

At one level, this might seem a good idea. Zero-hours work was always intended for people who had made their money already and merely wanted something productive to do in their spare time.

But no formerly-senior civil servant with any self-respect should be taking it up because they should know they are worth more – and because zero-hours work has been tarnished by the abuses of such contracts to harm the prospects of the genuinely poor.

This Blog predicts the only people taking up the offer will be ideological Conservatives, who will blindly follow the Tory line without advising on any better alternatives because they believe in it, and those who need the money and will do what they’re told for fear of losing it.

That will not give us good government.

Retired and redundant civil servants are being re-recruited to government jobs under a pilot scheme launched by the Cabinet Office. Some former staff are being re-employed using zero-hours contracts when full-time employees cannot cope with the workload, a leaked document shows.

The disclosure of the pilot, dubbed by opponents as a “Dad’s Army” solution to Whitehall’s staffing crisis, comes as mandarins brace themselves for further cuts. More than 80,000 full-time civil servants have left their jobs since 2010 with a similar number expected to leave during the current parliament.

Source: Government scheme to rehire former civil servants on zero-hours contracts | Politics | The Guardian

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MP asks civil servant to check whether DWP to blame for benefit deaths – Disability News Service

Getting a bit rough, is it? Esther McVey dissembles desperately in an attempt not to answer questions posed by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

Getting a bit rough, is it? Esther McVey dissembles desperately in an attempt not to answer questions posed by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

A senior civil servant has been asked by an MP to examine whether any of the 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths concluded that the government had been partly to blame, writes John Pring for the Disability News Service.

The question came as Conservative employment minister Esther McVey was giving evidence to an inquiry into benefit sanctions policy.

Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, a member of the work and pensions committee that is conducting the inquiry, told McVey there was “an increasing… and a worrying number of deaths that are being associated with sanctions”.

Her questions came in the wake of a series of Freedom of Information Act requests by Disability News Service (DNS), which have revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has carried out 60 – a figure later corrected by civil servants to 49 – internal “peer” reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.

Abrahams asked McVey how many of the peer reviews concluded that the deaths had been associated with the use of benefit sanctions.

McVey said it was “wrong” of Abrahams to “politicise” and “inflame” the issue, and refused to answer her question.

We’ll be the judge of that. Was she saying the government has something to hide?

Let us all await the civil servant’s report with interest.

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Foiled! Lords veto Coalition bid to make being ‘annoying’ an arrestable offence

140108ipna

The Conservative-led Coalition government has suffered a major setback in its plan for an oppressive law to criminalise any behaviour that may be deemed a nuisance or annoyance.

The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill was intended to allow police the power to arrest any group in a public place who constables believe may upset someone. It was rejected by 306 votes to 178, after peers on all sides of the House condemned the proposal as one that would eliminate carol-singing and street preaching, bell-ringing and – of course – political protests.

It seems the Lords are more interested than our would-be tyrants in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Cabinet in the basic assumption of British law – that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

The politics.co.uk website, reporting the government’s defeat, said the new law would have introduced Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNAs) to replace Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).

It explained: “Whereas an Asbo can only be granted if a person or group is causing or threatening to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ to someone else, an Ipna could be approved merely if a judge believes the behaviour in question is ‘capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person’.

“Opinion could have been swayed by a mistake from Lord Faulks, the Tory peer widely expected to shortly become a minister who was asked to give an example of the sort of behaviour which might be captured by the bill.

“He described a group of youths who repeatedly gathered at a specific location, smoking cannabis and playing loud music in a way representing ‘a day-by-day harassment of individuals’.

“That triggered consternation in the chamber as peers challenged him over the word ‘harassment’ – a higher bar than the ‘nuisance or annoyance’ threshold he was arguing in favour of.

“‘I find it difficult to accept a Conservative-led government is prepared to introduce this lower threshold in the bill,’ Tory backbencher Patrick Cormack said.

“‘We are sinking to a lower threshold and in the process many people may have their civil liberties taken away from them.'”

It is the judgement of the general public that this is precisely the intention.

Peers repeatedly quoted Lord Justice Sedley’s ruling in a 1997 high court case, when he declared: “Freedom to only speak inoffensively is not worth having.”

It is interesting to note that the government tried a well-used tactic – making a minor concession over the definition of ‘annoyance’ before the debate took place, in order to win the day. This has served the Coalition well in the past, particularly during the fight over the Health and Social Care Act, in which claims were made about GPs’ role in commissioning services, about the future role of the Health Secretary, and about the promotion of private health organisations over NHS providers.

But today the Lords were not fooled and dismissed the change in agreement with the claim of civil liberties group Liberty, which said – in words that may also be applied to the claims about the Health Act – that they were “a little bit of window dressing” and “nothing substantial has changed“.

A further concession, changing the proposal for an IPNA to be granted only if it is “just and convenient to do so” into one for it to be granted if it targets conduct which could be “reasonably expected to cause nuisance or annoyance” was torpedoed by Lord Dear, who rightly dismissed it as “vague and imprecise“.

That is a criticism that has also been levelled at that other instrument of repression, the Transparency of Lobbying Bill. Lord Blair, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, invited comparison between the two when he described the Antisocial Behaviour Bill in the same terms previously applied to the Lobbying Bill: “This is a piece of absolutely awful legislation.”

The defeat means the Bill will return to the House of Commons, where MPs will have to reconsider their approach to freedom of speech, under the scrutiny of a general public that is now much more aware of the threat to it than when the Bill was first passed by our allegedly democratic representatives.

With a general election only 16 months away, every MP must know that every decision they make could affect their chances in 2015.

We must judge them on their actions.

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