Tag Archives: conference

NOT ‘safe to be me’: Tory betrayal of trans people triggers collapse of LGBT+ event

Two-fingered salute: Boris Johnson has voiced opposition to conversion therapy on multiple occasions, but actions speak louder than words and the gesture in the image above seems more indicative of his actual attitude to LGBT+ people

The UK’s Tory government has humiliatingly been forced to cancel an international conference of LGBT+ people in a row over its support for conversion therapy.

According to Wikipedia, “Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual or their gender identity from transgender to cisgender using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions.

“There is no reliable evidence that such practices can alter sexual orientation or gender identity, and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy is ineffective and potentially harmful.”

The government had promised to outlaw conversion therapy in any form – but u-turned last week, saying any ban would only apply to attempts to alter a person’s sexuality, not attempts to try to change people’s gender identity.

So it seems the Tories are happy to expose trans people to potential harm.

It’s probably no wonder, then, that more than 100 LGBT+ organisations have responded by walking out of the Tories’ big, flagship, headline-grabbing international conference for, among all the other groups, trans people.

The killing blow was dealt to the event on Tuesday (April 5, 2022) when Iain Anderson, the Tory government’s first LGBT+ business champion, resigned. His unpaid role was specially-created for the lead-up to the conference, and was expected to last 18 months.

He would have been expected to showcase what UK businesses have done in reducing workplace discrimination and promoting quality for LGBT+ people at the conference – a tricky job in the light of the government’s new policy.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, who has allowed (demanded?) the u-turn to happen, he stated: “Trust and belief in the government’s overall commitment to LGBT+ rights has been damaged.

“I believe a comprehensive plan to support LGBT+ people to play their full part in our society is urgently needed.”

Johnson himself has previously called the practice of conversion therapy “repulsive and abhorrent” and had promised plans to outlaw it on a number of separate occasions. Has he been lying again?

A government spokesperson has responded with a statement that it would carry out “separate work” on the issue of transgender conversion therapy but it was keen for any legislation not to have “unintended consequences”, adding it was a “legally complex area”.

Oh yes – “unintended consequences”. We know that’s something that the government has always tried to avoid! (Hint: it never has.)

A Conservative MP, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: “Having failed to deliver for the LGBT community at home, we will now fail to deliver for LGBT communities around the world. What a record.”

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry posted on Twitter: “For three years, I urged the Government to use the opportunity they had as co-chair of the (intergovernmental) Equal Rights Coalition to take a global lead on LGBTQ+ issues.

“For three years, they did nothing except talk up their ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference. And now where are we? What a sickening waste.”

Consortium, the umbrella body for LGBT+ voluntary and community organisations, said: “The implications of the international LGBT conference being cancelled are solely at the doorstep of Number 10.

“LGBT+ organisations were left with no choice but to withdraw any support in order to stand in solidarity and partnership with our trans communities.”

So there you have it. The Tories’ own prejudices have humiliated them. This is a terrific example of people power laying the mighty low. We may all learn from this.

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Nazanin’s calm criticism makes nonsense of boasts by Johnson and his government

Home at last: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has, quietly and with dignity, made nonsense of claims by Boris Johnson and his government that they worked tirelessly to free her.

A newspaper reporter on the BBC’s Politics Live tried to say current foreign secretary Liz Truss was to be praised for achieving the release, but we all know her actions were not even slightly motivated by concern for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Truss paid a £400 million debt the UK owed Iran in the hope that it would win a deal for cheap fossil fuels to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis her government has forced on its fellow citizens.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s calm comments on the way she was mistreated by UK foreign secretaries – including Truss and current prime minister Boris Johnson – should act like daggers in the heart of the Tory government:

Tory voters: take note – if you were in trouble, a Tory government would treat you no better.

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Ukraine: Johnson’s conference comparison is doubly hypocritical because of his Russian links

Duper’s delight again: either Boris Johnson is a hypocrite, praising Ukraine but supporting Russia – or he was deceiving his party faithful by saying he wants Ukraine to suffer a disaster at least as great as the effect of Brexit on UK citizens.

Yes, it was disgusting when Boris Johnson got on his hind legs at the Conservative Spring Conference and said Ukraine was like the referendum decision for the UK to leave the EU:

Ukraine is trying to join the European Union. Somebody needs to tell Johnson that before he sticks his size-13s in his mouth again.

Former European Council president Donald Tusk said the words “offend Ukrainians, the British and common sense”.

Even some Conservatives had the sense to condemn Johnson’s ill-chosen words:

Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood said Mr Johnson’s comparison “damages the standard of statecraft” being exhibited in the response to the invasion.

The comment was hugely hypocritical because Brexit has been a disaster for a majority of UK citizens; we have to deal with increased bureaucracy and higher prices as a result of the trade barriers that Johnson raised.

And just ask the people of Ireland (Northern and the Republic) how they feel about the NI Protocol.

But it’s worse than that!

Johnson is doubly hypocritical because he talks about supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom but acts in support of Russia.

It has just been revealed that – on the night Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine – Johnson attended a fundraising event with a Russian donor to the Conservative Party who has connections with the Russian president.

He was joined by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and communities secretary Michael Gove, and all guests reportedly enjoyed expensive wine, food and an auction.

Labour chairwoman Annaliese Dodds branded Johnson a “threat to national security” – and she’s right. Who knows what our loose-lipped prime minister might have said?

Who knows whether he still talks to Putin-supporting Russians now and what he says if he does?

Then he stands in front of his party faithful and praises Ukraine’s struggle for freedom by comparing it with the worst disaster to be deliberately inflicted on the UK in more than 80 years.

Hmm. Perhaps he’s not such a hypocrite after all – if he’s really saying he wants Ukraine to sink as fast as the UK has after Brexit.

Source: Boris Johnson compares Ukraine to Brits ‘wanting to be free’ by choosing Brexit in conference speech | ITV News

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Tory spring conference opens floodgates for satire

It seems Boris Johnson’s only success at the Conservative spring conference was as the butt of a series of satirical comments.

He enraged people by comparing Ukraine’s battle for freedom with the vote in which 17 million people dragged the rest of the UK’s 68 million population into Brexit. Doesn’t work, does it?

Some of us got our own back by posting images on the social media – and they’re worth seeing.

Besides the pic above, here are a few more.

If you’ve spotted any, please send them in.

This one isn’t connected to the conference but is too good not to publish:

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Johnson’s green credibility is blown; he flew back to London for meal WITH CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER

Not the Garrick Club dinner: you can bet Boris Johnson wasn’t drinking water (if that’s really what it was in this pic) at the booze-up with climate denier Lord Moore on Tuesday.

So much for all that nonsense Number 10 was spouting about Boris Johnson’s plane being super-green and its carbon footprint being negated.

It turns out he couldn’t catch a train back to London from COP26 because he was going to a meal with a climate change denier and wanted to get there on time.

Downing Street also said “time constraints” prevented Johnson from travelling by train – and this is clearly more true than all that crap about the environment.

According to the Mirror, Johnson left COP26 at 6.20pm on Tuesday, arriving at London Stansted at 7.16pm.

The train journey would have taken four and a half hours – meaning he would have been very late for the flash dinner reunion for Daily Telegraph journalists, including former editor Lord Charles Moore, who once said the climate crisis was “speculation”.

So there you have it.

After falling asleep at the major meeting to stop climate armageddon – maskless, thereby polluting the atmosphere around national treasure David Attenborough…

He took a plane – the more polluting option, no matter what Downing Street says (have those carbon-offsetting trees been planted yet?)…

And spent the evening at a slap-up meal in the Garrick Club with a self-confessed climate denier.

What a hypocritical puff of hot air.

Source: Boris Johnson took private jet from Cop26 to dine with climate sceptic at members’ club | The Independent

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Cognitive dissonance: Javid’s indifference heralds new UK Covid catastrophe

The caseload and the culprit: every other nation now has far fewer Covid-19 cases because they don’t have a selfish and incompetent government led by selfish incompetent Boris Johnson.

This Writer took a Covid-19 test today. The result was negative, you’ll be pleased to hear.

No, nobody passed on the virus at the successful Festival of Resistance at which I spoke over the weekend.

While I had been there, Mrs Mike had attended a gathering to celebrate her best friend’s granddaughter’s 16th birthday. The day after, the girl’s stepfather tested positive.

Mrs Mike had not been near him but she took a test on Monday, along with her friend. Both came out negative – and this was good, because we were due to attend the funeral of Mrs Mike’s beloved grandfather on Wednesday (yesterday) and she would have been devastated to miss it.

So we attended the event, along with many others (he had been 99 years old and a pillar of the Royal British Legion), and it was only when we were driving back from the crematorium that Mrs Mike received a message from her best friend, that she had taken a second test and it had come out positive.

Imagine the effect on Mrs Mike, who had just attended such a large event, full of senior citizens who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 – and alongside her daughter, who is pregnant. We all wore masks at the ceremonies, but not at the social event between the service and the cremation; and not in the car with my stepdaughter and her fiance, or in their house afterwards.

It is therefore a great relief that neither of us have the virus and could not have passed it on.

Shall we discuss the press conference by that utter maniac Sajid Javid now, in this context?

The day after the official figure – of deaths within 28 days of a positive test – hit 223, its highest level since March, and 43,738 daily cases – which is around the current level of nearly 50k per day – he said infections could more than double to 100,000 per day during the winter.

That isn’t news; we’ve been hearing it since late summer. The tragedy is that Javid isn’t interested in doing anything about it.

He won’t re-impose restrictions or lockdowns. He says the precautions people take are for them to judge – but my own experience over the last few days shows that people simply are not good judges in that respect.

If Javid expects infections to more-than-double, then it is reasonable to believe he has come to the same conclusion.

Why doesn’t he re-introduce social distancing rules, or even lockdowns, then? He doesn’t care.

His attitude is that his donors have waiting long enough and now they want to start making money again. If people die… too bad.

Of course, some people have done very well out of our suffering, let’s not forget:

It’s a shocking dereliction of duty by a UK Health Secretary. No doubt he will surround himself with excuses, and with friends in the Tories’ client media to mouth them, but that won’t change the evidence.

I note what he said about people attending parties – but it simply isn’t realistic. People aren’t going to wear masks at such events because they are there specifically to get closer to their friends and loved ones and masks get in the way. It is his job to ensure that people don’t need to – and he simply isn’t doing it.

Instead, he lied that we are closer to normal than we were a few months ago…

He said he has secured hundreds of thousands of doses of new antivirals – great! But the UK has a population of 68 million. Who will get those drugs first?

Four million people have had booster injections of Covid-19 vaccines, he said. Why so few?

UK Health Security Agency chief executive Jenny Harries said the number of deaths was moving in the “wrong direction” – which is a curious choice of words. The fact that, after more than a year and a half, there are any deaths at all shows that the UK government’s Covid-19 policy as a whole has been moving in the wrong direction since the start.

And she has contributed to this, of course:

Javid said it was still his belief that people in the UK should “learn to live with the virus”. Like MPs will have to, after their disgraceful display of masklessness at Prime Minister’s Questions?

(Obviously I was at the funeral and didn’t see PMQs. If you did, could you see Javid in the Chamber with his mask on?)

How strange that nobody in the mass media has bothered to mention this point. Have they been told not to?

He said pressure on the NHS was not “unsustainable” – but this is nonsense; he had to call in the Armed Forces to help cope:

His words were also directly contradicted by the National Medical Director of England, Stephen Powis:

And he said contingency measures are in place if the situation becomes “more challenging” – but are not needed yet.

If not now – when? The UK has the highest infection rate, the highest death rate, and the worst government response of any nation in the world! Deaths are at 1,000 per week and have been for months – that’s equivalent to 50,000 per year. The current infection rate means 2.6 million people are likely to contract the virus per year, increasing to a possible 5.2 million – and Javid is happy with that.

That is not the attitude of a Health Secretary but of a homicidal maniac.

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Boris Johnson’s conference speech: the lies, the bluster and the ridicule

This man knew, for one: Andrew Marr called out Boris Johnson on his false claims on the morning the Conservative conference began. In response, it seems Johnson doubled down, determined to dupe us with even more falsehoods than ever.

Did you watch Boris Johnson’s speech to the Tory conference last week? I didn’t.

I knew I would be able to get the gist from other sources later. And the satirical alternatives are so much more fun. For example:

For a more factual analysis, we may turn to the ever-reliable Peter Stefanovic:

With the benefit of fact checking, it’s now possible to go into Johnson’s false claims in more depth – if you have the stomach for it!

Let’s start with his misleading claim that the rollout of a vaccine for Covid-19 was only possible due to the greedy capitalist system, and to Brexit:

So his claims about the vaccines were lies. Happy? We’ll move on.

Let’s look at that analysis, starting with “We now have the fastest growth in the G7“.

The G7 is a group of big economies. If you compare GDP between April and June 2021 with the last three months of 2019, before the pandemic hit, the UK had the joint-fifth best growth in the G7, equal with Germany, and with only Italy doing worse.

So: not true.

How about “48 new hospitals, 50,000 more nurses“?

So far, construction has begun at six sites. One is a new cancer centre on an existing hospital site in Bath. The other five were hospital builds planned under pre-existing schemes (over the last decade) and include building work that stopped after the collapse of the construction firm Carillion.

Another lie, then.

The Conservatives promised 50,000 more nurses for England by March 2025. The latest figures show there were 310,251 full-time equivalent NHS nurses and health visitors in June 2021. While that is up 14,158 since December 2019, it still leaves 35,842 full-time equivalent posts to fill over the next three-and-a-half years.

Not going to make it, are they?

Let’s move on to “We have done 68 free trade deals, and that great free trade deal with our friends in the EU“.

Nearly all of these deals – 63 of them in fact – are “rollover” deals. That means they copied the terms of deals the UK already had when it was an EU member, rather than creating any new benefits.

So the actual number of new trade deals is five. And all of those apart from the one with Australia are only slightly changed from the EU deals they replaced.

By far the most important agreement – the one with the EU itself – creates additional barriers to trade which were not there when the UK was part of the EU single market, particularly for services. And the big Brexit hope of an early free trade deal with the United States has not been fulfilled.

Nor is it likely to be, while one of the additional barriers – connected with Northern Ireland – continues to threaten peace in the province. Johnson is doing nothing about that.

There was a ‘wild card’ attack on the Labour Party: “What’s Labour’s answer [to drug dealing] by the way? To decriminalise hard drugs apparently – to let the dealers off with a caution.

Was it true? No.

The suggestion that Labour has a policy to decriminalise hard drugs is not true. The party has confirmed that it does not support this.

Finally, the big lie that Johnson keeps harping on about: “Wages are going up faster than before the pandemic began.”

They aren’t:

Since average salaries dipped in the first few months of the pandemic, comparing this July with last July looks like a record rise – but more because of lows back then than highs right now.

And rising inflation, meaning the cost of pretty much everything is increasing at a rate that outstrips Johnson’s claims about wage rises, mean that his talk is even more nonsense jabbering than usual; every day we are becoming less able to pay for the services we need.

The claims about wages struck a nerve in the general public, many of whom remember the contempt with which Johnson responded to NHS workers’ requests for a pay rise, after expressing such fake-heartfelt gratitude to them for their work fighting Covid-19:

But it didn’t stop there. Here’s a good question for every employee in the UK:

And now let’s have some facts. First this:

And now this:

One final note on the speech: He said he would “unleash the spirit of Britain” – a claim that was too rich for our wits to let lie:

And yes – he deserved both of those barbs.

The speech encouraged one commenter, Richard Haviland, to describe a series of “defining principles” of Johnson’s governing technique. Here they are:

Okay, I added a couple of comments on his list because I consider them insightful.

Speech? Johnson’s oration was a pack of lies from beginning to end!

The good news is we may soon see movements to curb Johnson’s insistence on lying to Parliament – and an end to the lies spoken by his ministers there as well – in spite of the reluctance of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to rock the boat:

At the very least, such a debate will throw a spotlight on many of the hundreds of lies (according to respected right-wing journalist Peter Oborne) spoken by Johnson to Parliament since he became prime minister in mid-2019 – in line with Hoyle’s demand that such claims be part of a dedicated debate.

He may then face pressure to enforce existing conventions on Parliamentary liars – or to devise new penalties. And then we’ll get to watch Johnson falling foul of them every Wednesday lunchtime.

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State not responsible for health care says Javid – lining up NHS for full privatisation?

Covid Javid: he was happy to whip off his mask (in a secure environment) but his words and his deeds as Health and Social Care Secretary mark him out as a danger to public health.

I know his nasal whine is irritating but try to get through the following clip of Sajid Javid’s speech to the Tory conference so you can understand what he’s saying.

I think Alex Andreou has it pretty much right:

Family first, then community, then the state? What?

So, with Covid-19 (for example), by Javid’s lights, we should all have sought a remedy from our families? That would have achieved nothing apart from their infection.

Having failed there, were we then supposed to go to the community – other people’s families – and infect them too?

By the time we got round to asking the state – as demanded by Javid in his speech to the Tory conference – many of us would already have been dead.

What a puerile claim from our supposed Health and Social Care Secretary! No wonder 1,000 people are dying every week while he mouths these platitudes.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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Man arrested for holding ‘Priti fascist’ sign at #CPC21 – but wasn’t it fair comment?


This story can be summed up in just two tweets:

So the demonstrator who was arrested was right, wasn’t he?

Priti Patel is a fascist.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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Car crash interviews show the Conservatives’ biggest liability in #CPC21 is their leader

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions. Now he is being forced to face them – and has no answers.

Boris Johnson can’t say anything right, can he?

Listen to these diabolical responses to TV interviewers – on shortages caused by Brexit:

On crimes against women (pay close attention at 3 minutes 30 seconds when he says he wants to concentrate on real crimes – whatever he means by that):

Johnson’s lieutenants aren’t faring any better.

In addition to Kit Malthouse’s rinsing on Sky (above) I now have video of the confrontation between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Dominic Hutchins, who had to prove he still had cerebral palsy – a lifelong condition – to a Tory-employed benefits assessor, and whose job was taken away from him by Tory cuts. This is hard to watch:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook