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It seems perfectly clear to me. All the Tory government has to do to end the Extinction Rebellion protests is take action to halt the planetary harm that causes climate change.
Face it: the disruption to the lives of Londoners that is happening at the moment is tiny, compared to the disruption that will happen to everybody – and I mean everybody – if oblivious fat cat industrialists aren’t forced to stop thinking about their profits and start thinking about the planet.
Instead, Sajid Javid has said he wants police to use the “full force of the law” to stop the protests across the UK’s capital.
Why? Is that going to end the threat of climate change, then? Does he think if we can’t see anybody protesting about it, the problem will go away?
What about Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who said, “We’ve got the message”? Has he? What is he doing about it, then?
What about Claire “Bag of Air” Perry, the energy and climate change minister, who said she could not see that “disrupting one of world’s busiest transport systems … blocking emergency routes and making life difficult for so many is going to build consensus and support for the changes we need”? What legislation has she put forward to ensure those changes happen?
Emma Thompson has the right idea.
The movie actress has flown back to London from Hollywood to become an Extinction Rebellion protester herself.
She made a short video to explain her reasons:
And she’s absolutely right; there is no ‘Planet B’ for us if a few greedy rich people ruin this one.
She’s got the message – it’s Michael Gove who hasn’t, even though he’ll say it until he’s blue in the face (not much change there, then).
Here’s another person who’s got the message – Jonathan Pie:
Again, he targeted Michael Gove. Rightly.
If Gove had got the message, he would have swung Tory policy into reverse and actually started making a difference today – and never mind the fact that it’s right in the middle of the Easter holidays; I don’t think the sixth mass extinction event respects UK government timetables.
But he hasn’t got the message. He’s sitting on his thumbs somewhere, dreaming about being the next useless Tory prime minister.
And Sajid Javid’s “full force of the law”?
In case he hasn’t noticed, the “full force of the law” is a lot less forceful than it was when his leaderene Theresa May took over as Home Secretary in 2010.
If he throws the “full force” of a few hundred tired and demoralised Met police officers at a few thousands protesters, he’ll only make everybody angry – especially when the pictures get shown on TV (or more likely, on the social media).
And then there’ll be a few thousand more protesters for him to handle.
How many will it take before he – and the rest of them – finally realise they’re not going to win, and that it’s better all round to help?
Claire Perry: Her thumb’s up in this image but it seems she has been “crossing [her] fingers and hoping things will improve”.
The Tory cull of the weak and the old continues unabated with the annual increase in excess winter deaths.
Like the increase in child homelessness, this is a story I have to write every year – because every year, under a Conservative government, the numbers increase.
In 2013, Age UK predicted that 24,000 older people would not survive the winter – 200 deaths per day. By the winter of 2017-18, according to the Office for National Statistics, that figure had leapt to 417 per day.
That’s 17 deaths every hour.
The total number of excess (that’s avoidable) winter deaths was said to be 50,100 – the highest since the winter of 1975-76.
Excess winter deaths in England and Wales. See story HEALTH Deaths. Infographic from PA Graphics
More than a third of the deaths were caused by respiratory diseases, and deaths were higher among females and people aged over 85.
The government – and particularly Energy minister Claire Perry – has been blamed for the increase, which charities say can be attributed to a “laissez-faire” policy that amounted to “crossing [her] fingers and hoping things will improve”.
It certainly seems that Ms Perry thinks she has better things to do than her job. Recent television appearances have shown remarkable displays of misandry (hatred towards men because they are men) and an instance in which she libelled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC’s Question Time.
But she won’t lose her job. If pensioners die, the Conservative government record this as a “positive benefit outcome”.
To add perspective to the facts, in 2014-15 the number of excess deaths had increased from 24,000 to 44,000.
The ONS tried to suggest fears over the effectiveness of that year’s influenza vaccine caused the spike in deaths – but it seems the vaccine in fact proved extremely effective and people who died had been put off having it by government publicity.
Tory porn: The ever-increasing food bank queue is entirely due to Conservative Party policies like Universal Credit and any claim to be concerned is the height of hypocrisy.
What is going on at the Trussell Trust?
Britain’s biggest food bank charity was once one of the wolves at the Tory government’s door; now it seems to be Theresa May’s poodle.
Has it been nobbled with another of the Tories’ famous gagging contracts, in which charities are blackmailed into promising not to criticise or embarrass the government or face the loss of funding? That seems possible – the Conservatives were threatening it, way back in 2014.
As Mrs May and her vile government of the privileged stares into the abyss being opened up by their failure of a Brexit deal, down which their support is likely to fall, it seems clear that they need to build up their profile if they are to have any chance at all in a snap general election.
So a series of photo opportunities in which MPs like Dominic Raab, Claire Perry, Ross Thomson and Stephen Crabb pretend to care about the people their policies have forced into food poverty – most obviously wherever Universal Credit has been rolled out – presumably seems a worthwhile wheeze. And Tesco seems to be getting a lot of free advertising from it!
We all need to be aware that they aren’t showing they care about us.
They’re taking the piss out of the poor – and they’re doing it to a script:
If you want to give the impression you've spontaneously donated to a food bank, probably best not to mostly copy and paste whatever the Scottish Tory PR office sent over… pic.twitter.com/oBVoXAMaie
Charlotte, who writes the Poor Side of Life blog which features true stories of people living at the sharp end of cruel Conservative policies that are geared towards harming the poor, also tweeted:
If a tory politician would wanted to take a photo next to the food parcels that I hand out I'd tell them to do one. They chose to starve people. They're killing people. Remind them this at every opportunity.
This will be forever known as the weekend when Tories paraded their callous hypocrisy by tweeting from food banks and the Daily Mail called for a “volunteer NHS army” as the Centrists lapped it all up….
There has been an epidemic of Tory MPs this weekend visiting food banks for photo-opportunities choreographed by Central Control. Presumably the aim is to make them seem like human beings. People aren't stupid: they know Tory heartlessness caused food poverty.
Clare Hepworth directly addressed prime minister Theresa May:
MEMO to the PM Theresa – don't you think it's beyond obscene – that your Tory MPs are engaging in PR stunts using food banks ? Is this your notion of dealing with *burning injustices* ? Visit the victims of Tory policies & have your photo taken whilst smiling broadly ?#Shameful
Dominic Raab set himself up for particularly harsh – and totally deserved – criticism:
Thank you to Tesco in Molesey and the Trussell Trust for partnering to encourage customers to generously provide food collections for families in our community, who are struggling at this time of year. pic.twitter.com/QkuCgQ8qAl
In response, David Schneider tweeted: “In predictable news, man who failed to realise we’re an island fails to realise connection between Tory policy and the poverty caused by Tory policy.
John Clarke suggested: “Alternative Headline: ‘Dominic Raab thanks turkeys for voting for Christmas!’ Dominic added: “Thank you, turkeys, I mean that most sincerely. No need for you to thank us humans for providing you with warm accommodation and a painless death at this time of year.”
Rachel Clarke (I have no idea if they’re related, although I doubt it) pointed to the facts: “Mr Raab, you cannot be unaware that the Trussell Trust’s own stats show >50% increase in food bank use in areas where universal credit was rolled out. Your policies have *created* this crisis and your faux concern is the height of hypocrisy.”
Libelling Tory misandrist Claire Perry, who falsely accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-Semitism and regularly accuses men who take a different opinion from her own of “mansplaining”, was out opening a food bank in Devizes. She never thought for a moment that the opening of a food bank is no cause for joy. Fortunately James Colwell was available to explain – not “mansplain” – it to her:
And Frances Ryan, who writes so movingly about the Tories’ benefit brutality, added: “Tories having a brilliant time at food banks is my new obsession.”
It was up to Steve Peers to make the obvioius overarching point – and he made it well:
Good Lord. The "Tory MP food bank photo opportunities" tweets are actually copying a script. The only photo that could leave a positive impression is a Tory MP with a food bank closing due to a genuine lack of need for it. https://t.co/vGdlXSR1Xt
“The only photo that could leave a positive impression is a Tory MP with a food bank closing due to a genuine lack of need for it.”
So these food bank photo op Tories have all failed.
Instead of making themselves look like champions of the people, they have drawn attention to their own heartlessness.
Related to this is the emergence of new Tory general election candidates. Put this together with the food bank photo opportunities and it suggess they have to be getting ready for something – right?
Congratulations to @LauraWirral who has been chosen to fight the seat of Wirral West, and @KimCaddy selected as our new @Conservatives candidate for Battersea. I know both will work incredibly hard for their communities and make excellent MPs. pic.twitter.com/p9tiZW6sgd
The Labour Whips’ Twitter feed came out with the obvious: “Nothing to see here, just Theresa May and the Tories getting ready for that General Election she says won’t happen…”
But here’s a thing: Commentators across the mainstream media are telling us that, even if Mrs May loses a vote on her rubbish Brexit deal, she won’t lose the “no confidence” vote that the Labour Party will inevitably demand afterwards.
If that were true, we would not be seeing this attempt to charm the public.
I would certainly advise constituency Labour parties to make sure they have a prospective Parliamentary candidate in place. If this means deselecting one of the centrists who have been such a hindrance to Labour since 2015, they need to get on with it now.
It would be grimly humorous if the Tory attempt at jollying up the public was what alerted us to their election plans.
Claire Perry: Even in the Commons, it seems she’s a loudmouth.
Apparently Claire Perry is a bully, besides being libellous and misandrist.
The Tory Energy Minister, who habitually accuses men of “mansplaining” when they get the better of her on television, has now been accused of “shouting and swearing” at civil servants, it seems.
And of course she accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-Semitism on the BBC’s Question Time on November 15.
The BBC failed to screen the offending words out of its broadcast of the debate, meaning it is also guilty of libelling Mr Corbyn. If the outburst had been cut, Ms Perry would still have been guilty of slander, as the many members of the studio audience would still have heard it.
And what excuse has the BBC given?
None that is any good. In fact, the BBC has dithered.
According toSkwawkbox, the BBC stated: “David Dimbleby ensured that Labour frontbencher spokesperson and close ally of Mr Corbyn, Barry Gardiner MP, was given the opportunity to challenge the comments made by Claire Perry MP, which he did.”
That’s neither here nor there because it is not a defence against a libel accusation.
And the available defences aren’t applicable here. They include:
Truth – obviously, as the claim is not true, this defence is not available.
Honest opinion – this needs to be based on fact so, again, this defence is not available.
Public interest – this covers situations in which the information is false but may not seem so at the time to the person accused of defamation, and that they had a duty to report it before going into the process of verifying the information. It can be used by someone who finds themselves in a position in which it seems a necessity, either moral, legal, or social, to impart certain information to another who has an interest. But it is public knowledge that all the accusations of anti-Semitism raised against Mr Corbyn so far have been proved false, and there is no public interest in repeating false claims, nor is there any moral, legal or social necessity to do so.
Absolute privilege – this would allow complete freedom of speech but is only available in certain situations and a TV show is not one of them.
Innocent dissemination – this is not available to the author of a defamatory statement but is for innocent parties such as Internet Service Providers who act as a medium through which potentially libellous material may be published but had no knowledge that what they published was defamatory, had no reason to believe that the material would contain libel, and had not been negligent in this lack of knowledge.
It seems Ms Perry may soon face punishment by Parliamentary authorities for breaching the ministerial code, which says relationship with civil servants should be “proper and appropriate”.
But she could be joined in court by the producer(s) of BBC Question Time.
Claire Perry: Even in the Commons, it seems she’s a loudmouth.
I hope he sues her out of every single possession she has.
Tory blowhard Claire Perry – who has amazingly managed to con the people of Devizes into making her their MP – appeared on the BBC’s Question Timeyesterday evening (November 15) and said the following:
But Ms Perry probably thought it was worth making the claim because Labour’s chief organising committees don’t need any evidence to find members guilty of anti-Semitism.
His party’s ruling National Executive Committee (of which, yes, he is a member) isn’t above falsely accusing innocent members of anti-Semitism, purely to score points with one or two members of the general public who make false claims, purely (in turn) in order to make Labour’s NEC do exactly as I’ve just described.
And his party’s National Constitutional Committee, which runs the disciplinary hearings at which these cases are heard, isn’t above ignoring the facts of these cases to find these false accusations true.
So Labour certainly has a perception problem when it comes to anti-Semitism. Both those organisations would rather trash the good names of innocent members than risk their party being slagged off as racist by a few liars.
Yet Claire Perry still called Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite.
And the NEC and NCC have brought themselves into disrepute with their false accusations and perversions of justice.
And the fact that they have done this means they have jeopardised any credibility a future Labour government might have as being able to deal with facts rather than fantasy.
So I’d like to ask the members of those organisations who came up with the boneheadedly imbecilic idea of pandering to a bunch of liars…
How’s that working out for you?
Afterthought: More shocking than Ms Perry’s libel is the fact that the BBC allowed it to be broadcast. As I understand it,Question Time isn’t recorded live – precisely in order to prevent legally-questionable material being broadcast, because every fresh publication of a libel is a new libel. In broadcasting her outburst, the BBC has made itself liable for legal action as well.
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