Tag Archives: condemn

Johnson’s first Attorney General condemns his plan to betray EU withdrawal agreement

Geoffrey Cox: the former Attorney General is pointing the finger of accusation at Boris Johnson.

That’s scuppered the claims that the row over Boris Johnson’s plan to break international law is a last gasp of the so-called ‘Remainers’, then.

Geoffrey Cox – a devout Brexiter – was Attorney General when Boris Johnson signed his EU withdrawal agreement in January.

His announcement that he will not support Johnson’s Internal Markets Bill is proof that the controversy extends much further than the established battle lines.

The story broke in The Times, which is behind a paywall. However, the East Fife Times has this:

Boris Johnson’s former attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, has said it would be “unconscionable” to override the Brexit divorce deal.

The Tory MP said there is “no doubt” the “unpalatable” implications of the Withdrawal Agreement were known when the Prime Minister signed it, a time when Mr Cox was the chief law officer.

So he should know!

He stated:

And he threatened worse:

The Brexiteer warned he would not back the UK Internal Market Bill unless ministers dispel the impression they plan to “permanently and unilaterally” rewrite an international agreement.

[He] said tariffs and customs procedures on certain goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain were part of the deal.

“There can be no doubt that these were the known, unpalatable but inescapable, implications of the agreement,” he wrote in The Times.

He said if the powers in the Bill were used to “nullify those perfectly plain and foreseeable consequences” then it would amount to the “unilateral abrogation of the treaty obligations”

Cox said ministers could use “clear and lawful” options under the withdrawal agreement to remedy their concerns that food imports may be blocked from Britain to Northern Ireland – or, “in extremis”, take “temporary and proportionate measures” via independent arbitration.

“What ministers should not do, however provoked or frustrated they may feel about an impasse in negotiations, is to take or use powers permanently and unilaterally to rewrite portions of an international agreement into which this country freely entered just a few months ago,” he said.

It seems he also said this:

But the article also points out:

The QC… was attorney general during the unlawful suspension of Parliament.

That’s right; Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament illegally – and lied to the Queen in order to do it.

It seems Cox has had enough of such illegalities – and his words carry weight on the Conservative benches in the House of Commons.

They are also carrying weight on the social media:

Johnson and his people are desperately trying to play down the implications of their plan, but nobody is being fooled.

There may be more than verbal fireworks in the political news this week.

Source: Ex-attorney general strikes out at ‘unconscionable’ plan to override Brexit deal | Central Fife Times

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Coronavirus: Medical groups unite to condemn bulk ‘Do Not Revive’ plan for sick and disabled people


This should be seen as absolute proof that it has been a policy to deny coronavirus care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities.

This Writer has noted some scepticism in the responses to yesterday’s article about the GP practice in Wales that wrote to people with ongoing medical conditions, telling them that equipment used to treat coronavirus is being rationed and they were not likely to be treated if they contracted the disease. Instead, the letter asked them to sign a form directing medical staff not to attempt to resuscitate them if they succumbed to the virus.

My own attitude to this is clear: as we have all paid into the National Health Service, throughout our lives, we all deserve the best possible care available from it. I asked: do politicians and royalty get preferential treatment? If so, why?

Also, just because a person has an underlying condition, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to shrug off the virus, given the same help that is provided to everybody else.

Now the British Medical Association, the Care Provider Alliance, the Care Quality Commission and the Royal College of General Practitioners have released a joint statement, saying more or less the same.

Here’s the statement:

It reads [boldings mine]:

The importance of having a personalised care plan in place, especially for older people, people who are frail or have other serious conditions has never been more important than it is now during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Where a person has capacit, as defined by the Mental Capacity Act, this advance care plan should always be discussed with them directly. Where a person lacks the capacity to engage with this process then it is reasonable to produce such a plan following best interest guidelines with the involvement of family members or other appropriate individuals.

Such advance care plans may result in the consideration and completion of a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) or ReSPECT form. It remains essential that these decisions are made on an individual basis. The General Practitioner continues to have a central role in the consideration, completion and signing of DNAR forms for people in community settings.

It is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion to be applied to groups of people of any description. These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.

It’s saying that any policy requiring medical staff to write off any individual – of any age and condition – as untreatable without discussing their situation with them is wrong.

If the government has handed that down to healthcare providers as a requirement, then it is wrong.

If anybody has already died as a result of such a policy, then those responsible must be identified and must pay the appropriate penalty.

This is real. It is important. It could be deadly. Don’t let the Tories get away with it.

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Chief Rabbi’s rant condemned as ‘political’ and ‘ideological’ ‘propaganda’

Ephraim Mirvis: His outburst about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party has been condemned as ‘political’ and ‘ideological’ ‘propaganda’.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been decisively debunked by the UK Rabbinical Executive of the United European Jews.

This may be unsurprising, as the organisation arises from True Torah Jews, a group that was set up to oppose Zionism – and Mr Mirvis is a Zionist of what we may consider an extreme nature.

United European Jews, as an organisation, is concerned that Zionism endangers Jews across the world.

In a letter to the Labour leader, Rabbi Mayer Weinberger writes as follows:

“I write to you on behalf of the Executive Board of the United European Jews organisation regarding an unusually disturbing declaration that was … reported in the media claiming that the overwhelming majority of British Jews are “gripped by anxiety” at the prospect of a Labour victory in the forthcoming general election.

“Please not that we totally reject and condemn in no uncertain terms these remarks, which [do] not represent the views of the mainstream chareidi Jews that live in the UK.

“We believe that such assertions are due to propaganda with a political and ideological agenda. An agenda which, I might add, is diametrically opposed to fundamental Jewish values as well as the opinions of tens of thousands of Jews in our community.

“At this time, we also relay our gratefulness for your numerous acts of solidarity with the Jewish community over many years and also welcome your assurances that Labour will do everything necessary to defend the Jewish way of life and protect our rights to practise our religion.

“For all this, we take this opportunity to say: Thank you! Mr Corbyn.”

At the very least, this shows that opinion about Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party in the Jewish community as far less conclusive than Mr Mirvis – and the Tory-supporting UK media – would have us believe.

This Site issued a reminder yesterday that Mr Mirvis is a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative, a friend of Boris Johnson, and a Zionist who supports the bombing of Palestinians (based on his own words in the past).

But you can’t expect to hear about this on the UK’s highly-partisan mainstream news media. So please share it yourself.

You can see a copy of the letter on Sue Jones’s excellent Politics and Insights site here: Rabbinical Executive of United European Jews write to Jeremy Corbyn dismissing UK media commentary as ‘propaganda’ 

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While Theresa dithers, Trump attacks – fuelling ‘Britain First’ row between UK and US

“Just a reminder of the liklihood of a robust response from our Foreign Secretary to the incontinent tantrum of the President of the United States,” according to cartoonist Martin Rowson.

Weakling UK prime minister Theresa May has still not responded to US President Donald Trump’s decision to retweet hate messages by far-right organisation Britain First.

So Mr Trump has attacked comments by a Downing Street spokesperson who said simply that it was “wrong” to have retweeted the misleading, extremist messages.

The message from Downing Street was: “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect.”

Here’s Mr Trump’s response:

This is a clear endorsement of the hate message put forward in the Britain First tweets.

Mr Trump is urging Mrs May to consider all Muslims in the UK to be potential terrorists and to launch a racist policy against them.

This is utterly unacceptable from a foreign leader. He is trying to divide members of the UK community from the rest of us and accusing them of conspiring against the majority in a way that simply isn’t true, except in a tiny minority of cases. He knows next to nothing about the situation – clearly, as he is getting his information from far-right propaganda-peddlers.

And he is trying hard to make it worse. One has to question his motives, attempting to destabilise the UK at a time when this country’s domestic political situation is already highly-charged.

But still Theresa May remains silent, leaving it to her Downing Street spokespeople – and the public – to comment.

Note that the tweet above is also a retweet – originally Mr Trump sent the message to the wrong Theresa May (from which we may draw our own conclusions about his state of mind):

Mrs May’s deputies, in Parliament, have done their best to cover for her, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd trying to answer an Urgent Question in the Commons – answering the kind of criticism no US president has ever received from Parliament in the past:

Ms Rudd said the Government will not tolerate any groups that spread hate by demonising other faiths or ethnicities – but refused to condemn the US President, saying the UK-US relationship is “vital” and MPs needed to focus on the “bigger picture”.

She would not accept calls to cancel the invitation for Mr Trump to make a state visit to the UK.

But – shockingly – she could not answer a simple question: Whether the UK government had asked for Mr Trump to take the offending tweets down.

As part of the debate, Labour MP Khalid Mahmood made a very useful point, asking the Home Secretary if a Muslim would still be welcome in Britain if they had shared similarly inflammatory material to that posted by the US President.

Depressingly, Mr Trump’s retweets have revived the fortunes of Britain First, the far-right group that originally posted the messages. Deputy leader Jayda Fransen has been interviewed on both the BBC and Channel 4, providing a huge and harmful public platform for the minority organisation’s extremist views.

https://twitter.com/liamyoung/status/935936527867236352

https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/935899310276988930

https://twitter.com/KamBass/status/935917093169582085

Meanwhile the condemnation continues to rack up. Here’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was criticised by Mr Trump over his response to terror attacks in the UK’s capital city:

Trump’s support for Britain First sparks passionate reaction – with notable exceptions (THERESA MAY)

Theresa May has been desperate to build a close relationship with US President Donald Trump. His decision to show support for a UK-based hate group has put her in an extremely difficult position. She doesn’t want to comment – so we must demand it.

Donald Trump’s retweeting of hate messages by the far-right organisation Britain First has triggered a strong response from all sides of the UK’s political spectrum. But minority prime minister Theresa May has yet to offer any comment. Why?

Mr Trump retweeted messages by Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen, including one that purportedly showed violence by a Muslim – but actually didn’t. Ms Fransen then appeared to admit that her tweets were hate messages:

It should be remembered that murderer Thomas Mair named Britain First when he killed Jo Cox.

Her husband Brendan made his feelings about Mr Trump’s actions clear:

He followed this message with a tweet thanking Americans who had contacted him to say Trump did not represent the rules and values of their country – and he is quite right to give recognition to that.

Mr Cox has also written an opinion piece in The Guardian:

And he has appeared on TV, calling for Mr Trump’s planned visit to the UK to be cancelled:

Prominent figures from all sides of British politics have come together to condemn Mr Trump’s actions. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led the charge of condemnation:

Tory Nadhim Zahawi has written to Mr Trump, expressing his own outrage, as follows:

He wrote: “The videos you have chosen to distribute to your 43.6 million Twitter followers seek to conflate all Muslims into one skewed and twisted stereotype in the hope of inciting religious hatred toward the Islamic community. Whether the videos are valid or not, the individuals within them do not represent the overwhelming majority of those who adhere to the many forms of the Islamic faith.”

He continued: “I fear that your actions today have put in jeopardy some of the hard work done by our state bodies, making it easier for terrorist groups to portray our countries as their enemies and stoking the flames of radicalisation further.”

And he wrote: “I… urge you to delete the retweets and do all you can in future to resist courses of action that play into the hands of those who seek to destroy us and our way of life.”

Some of our politicians have been less forthcoming with their vilification.

Here’s our pitiful excuse for a Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. His tweet is followed by one from the Artist Taxi Driver, Mark McGowan, offering a possible reason for Mr Johnson’s reluctance to condemn Mr Trump:

And what of our absentee prime minister, Theresa May?

She is currently on a junket around some Middle East countries that are predominantly – if not entirely – Muslim. But she could not bring herself to say anything against Mr Trump’s behaviour.

Nor has she responded to calls for his invitation to visit the UK to be rescinded, in the light of this clearly unacceptable behaviour:

Perhaps Mrs May thinks that Mr Trump’s clear admiration for a hate group responsible for inciting people into acts of violence against their fellow UK citizens is none of our business.

Perhaps she thinks if she stays quiet about the issue, it will go away.

Perhaps we should make sure she is mistaken. Agreed?


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This is what Boris Johnson wouldn’t condemn – and another reason he has to go

It’s no good people saying Theresa May is a weak prime minister because she won’t sack Boris Johnson; his own weakness as foreign secretary means he compliments her perfectly.

Look at the Catalan independence referendum:

The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson refused to condemn widespread police violence against civilians as they sought to cast their votes in Catalonia’s unsanctioned independence referendum yesterday.

Responding to the crisis, Mr Johnson said: “Obviously we are very anxious about any violence. We hope that things will sort themselves out, though clearly you have to be sensitive to the constitutional proprieties.

“As I understand it the referendum is not legal, so there are difficulties.”

Now look at what he refused to condemn:


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A disabled man responds to Damian Green over the UN report on disability rights violations

Damian Green: He won't have read the comments in this article; worse, he clearly doesn't care [Image: Daily Mirror].

Damian Green: He won’t have read the comments in this article; worse, he clearly doesn’t care [Image: Daily Mirror].


The author of this article drew my attention to it, and now I’m asking you to read it too.

This is just a fraction of the whole, and I recommend you visit the Muscular Dystrophy UK site for the full piece.

The government claims as a disabled person, you have rights to protect you from discrimination. It cites the Equality Act 2010 (please refer to here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance) & the UNCRPD (please refer to here http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml) will help to enforce, protect & promote your rights.

So, it is surprising to find last week that the UK, as a result of being the first member to be investigated by a United Nations committee for not fulfilling the terms of the UNCRPD, have been found guilty of grave & systematic violations of the rights of disabled people as a direct result of austerity policies introduced into welfare & social care by the UK government aimed at reducing public spending since 2010, an inquiry has concluded.

The highly critical report (please refer to here http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2f15%2fR.2%2fRev.1&Lang=en), published in Geneva on Monday 7th November 2016, says a range of measures including controversial cuts to disability benefits, social care budgets & the introduction of the bedroom tax, have disproportionately & adversely affected the rights of disabled people to live independently, to work & achieve an adequate standard of living.

It makes 11 recommendations, including calling on the UK government to carry out a study of the cumulative impact of all spending cuts on disabled people & to ensure the human rights of disabled people are upheld.

In response, the government stated it “did not plan to follow up on any of the recommendations”.

Isn’t this to our nation’s shame?

Why hasn’t there been public outcry? Why has it not been plastered across our television screens constantly? Why haven’t hordes of disgruntled & angry citizens waving placards not taken to the streets en masse in protest at the treatment of one of the proudest but, flawed sections of society?

Because it’s been another stroke of luck for the government that in the same week this damning report was published, the Americans voted for a misogynist, racist to be their president & Mondelez International changed the size of bloody Toblerone!

I am shocked & saddened at the apathetic reaction to this report by the public. This is your money, not the government’s, despite what they might think. It’s your money that you work damn hard for that is purposely being withheld or wasted by the very government department, the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), charged with protecting the less fortunate.

Then there is the derision emanating from the new Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, the Rt Hon Damian Green MP.

[His] reaction is reminiscent of a scolded child. It is vulgar & quite frankly, damn right offensive. [His] protests are based on a misplaced, perceived sense of injustice for which [he has]no justifiable right to be offended.

I find Mr Green’s response is in keeping with the condescending & disrespectful attitude to the disabled which lies beneath the policies borne of his department.

Mr Green, if you think people losing their cars, their jobs, their homes, unprecedented reliance on foodbanks, destitution & even people taking or losing their lives are indicative of successfully supporting disabled people & an efficient way of distributing £50 billion then we have very contrasting definition of success.

And exactly how much of this alleged £50 billion outlay does the DWP waste on maintaining an IT infrastructure that’s not fit for purpose? And I would be very interested to know exactly how much of this alleged £50 billion the DWP spend, is spent by them defending & enforcing their draconian measures (such as the bedroom tax) in court via First Tier Tribunals, Upper Tribunals & beyond.

Mr Green is trying to defend the indefensible in government policy & the DWP. The motivation for the change in welfare is to drive down costs.

The reality is; the skivers & malingerers you’ve portrayed us as, the disabled, has turned out to be the genuinely sick & ill & now we’re suffering as a direct result.

Money. It’s all about money for the Tories … & always has been. Austerity is about money & clearly [the Conservative] government value money more than life.

You are guilty of systematic violations of our human rights sir. Fact.

Surely this is the nation’s shame?

Source: The Nation’s Shame – Muscular Dystrophy UK

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UN disability report: It IS time to focus – but not on details we’ve already covered

Nobody's idea of a Mastermind: Damian Green looks very similar to a contestant on the revered quiz show - but he seems clueless about his specialist subject.

Nobody’s idea of a Mastermind: Damian Green looks very similar to a contestant on the revered quiz show – but he seems clueless about his specialist subject.

Blogger Neil Crowther has responded to yesterday’s report on the letter to Ban-Ki Moon, calling for the United Nations to condemn the Conservative Government for dismissing its findings on the violations of human rights here.

The Tories have been found guilty of systematic violations of the rights of people with disabilities, according to the UN.

Mr Crowther suggests that complaining to the UN is “wasted energy”. Unfortunately he goes on to suggest two courses of action that are themselves a waste:

  • The whole point of the inquiry was to shine a light on UK government support for people with disabilities – that work has been done; and
  • It is pointless to discuss the amount of money spent on UK government policies when it has already been established that the policies themselves are at fault.

The article does make some very good points about the timing of the UN report’s publication – forced to take place during the week of the US Presidential election thanks to the complicity of the right-wing Mail on Sunday, so it would be buried beneath coverage of Trump.

But the fact is that this effort has quite clearly succeeded, therefore a new angle is needed, in order to revive interest.

A letter to Ban-Ki Moon is a new angle; revisiting arguments that have already been made is not.

Some have concluded that the government has complacently dismissed an  inquiry report by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into the devastating impact of austerity measures since 2010. I believe they are wrong and the government is on the run.

Why try so hard to bury bad news if you are so confident that the news is inaccurate, or its implications so light?

Perhaps it’s because this is the beginning not the end of a process, one that will refuse to go away for some time and which will become tougher as time goes by.

As President Obama would say, now is the time to focus.   Complaining to the government, or to the Secretary General of the United Nations, about the tone of the government’s response is wasted energy.  Did anyone really expect them to say ‘its a fair cop’ and to embrace the criticism?  Instead our focus has to be on unpicking the government’s arguments:

  • Yes, money isn’t everything and there’s more to life than social security, so let’s shine the light on how well government is supporting people to escape poverty, to exercise choice and control and to participate fully in practice – what is happening to people’s everyday opportunities?  Just how far will the proposals in the Green Paper, or action to implement the Care Act go to address these issues?
  • But with respect to the money, let’s not let the government get away with its glib claim to be spending more today than in 2009-10. Let’s ask how much it would have been spending were it not for cuts, count the human cost of those cuts, and also scrutinise just how well the considerable amount of public money is being spent in support of human rights.

In forcing publication of the UN Committee’s findings and its own response and publishing the Green Paper the government has provided a major opportunity to put it to the test.

Source: Following the UN Disability Committee report – it’s time to focus | Making rights make sense

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UN urged to act after Conservative government dismisses report on disability

161113-ban-ki-moon

Campaigners including This Writer have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, calling for action over the UK government’s disgraceful treatment of people with illnesses and disabilities.

Thanks to the efforts of our Tory-supporting media, most people in the UK don’t even know the United Nations has found the government guilty of systematically violating the rights of people with disabilities.

As one of the signatories of this letter, I’m surprised the Herald has published this story – it wasn’t due for release until the middle of the week.

So you should perhaps consider this a taste of things to come, and I would certainly appreciate it if everybody reading this could share it with as many friends and associates as possible.

Clearly we cannot rely on the mainstream press to report on this matter, even though it is one of the worst disgraces the United Kingdom’s government has ever committed – a national disgrace.

Spread the word and shame the Tories.

Campaigners are urging the United Nations to condemn the UK Government’s “unacceptable” dismissal of criticism over the impact of its welfare policies on disabled people.

Its report, published last week, found austerity policies had led to “systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities, with changes to benefits disproportionately affecting this group.

But in response, UK Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said it demonstrated an “outdated view of disability which is patronising and offensive.”

Now campaigners are writing to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asking him to “censure” the UK Government for its “unacceptable behaviour” in trying to discredit the report.

The letter, which will be submitted early this week, has been backed by more than 50 signatories including Paul Laverty, scriptwriter of “I, Daniel Blake”, several SNP MPs and disability and poverty campaigners.

John McArdle, co-founder of the Scottish disability rights group Black Triangle, said the report stood to be “totally disregarded” by the UK Government.

He said: “The Government have rejected all of their recommendations out of hand.

“But it is now on the international record that the UK is the first country in the world to be found to have met the standard for committing grave or systemic violations of the fundamental rights of disabled people.”

Source: UN urged to act over UK Government’s ‘unacceptable’ dismissal of report on disability (From HeraldScotland)

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Gaza conflict provokes the weak-minded to assault the innocent

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Politicl had to add the words "NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY" to an image that should - obviously - be treated as satirical.

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Political had to add the words “NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!” to an image that should – obviously – be treated as satirical.

What a paradox: While the Jewish state of Israel is criticised for treating Palestinian Muslims the way Hitler’s Germany treated them, history is repeating itself for British Jews who are being targeted for exactly the same treatment.

Gaza means Jews across the world may now be perceived as both perpetrators and victims.

Antisemitic attacks in the UK were up 42 per cent on the previous six months in July, because idiots can’t tell the difference between citizens of Israel and British Jews.

Attacks on Jewish people in the UK between January and June had already risen by 36 per cent.

Undoubtedly the increase in hate crime, described by Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust (in The Guardian) as a “wave of racist intimidation and violence”, has been fuelled by media coverage of the Israeli military action in Gaza that began in early July.

Mainstream media such as the BBC and Sky News have been criticised for one-sided reporting in favour of the Palestinian political group Hamas, and condemnation of the Israeli government has been widespread.

It is easy to understand why, when one examines the casualty figures: Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died, while the Jewish casualties number less than 100. Tens of thousands of people attended a rally in condemnation of these deaths in London yesterday (Saturday).

What has gone unnoticed – especially by the antisemitic thugs – is that Jewish communities in the UK are also “filled with grief for the people of Gaza”. As Rabbi Miriam Berger states in The Independent, “No Jew in Britain could possibly relish this loss of life.”

While she also expresses the belief that Israel needs to defend its citizens from attack, this simply shows how confused the situation has become. As this blog has stated, the conflict is a squabble over land between political organisations – Hamas and the Israeli government. Religion has very little to do with it.

British Jews are citizens of the UK, not Israel. They have nothing to do with the political process in that – foreign – country and it is clear that many of them disapprove of actions that have led to such a marked loss of life.

It is to all our shame that they have fallen foul of the kind of people who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. These thugs would probably attack a soap actor in the street if a storyline made a villain of their character.

Demonising people who have done nothing wrong will only make a horrifying situation even worse.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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