Tag Archives: confusion

Confusion reigns over who exactly can go back to work and who we can see

Tube commuters after Johnson’s speech on May 10: this is on the Jubilee Line.

Boris Johnson’s speech on Sunday (May 10) becomes more opaque by the hour.

He said all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open, telling construction workers and manufacturing employees in particular to go back (we know now that the construction industry is part of a Tory plan to boost house buying that flies in the face of common sense).

And it resulted in scenes like this:

Some of these people are going to catch Covid-19. A few may die of it.

That’s what Johnson’s message to the nation contained: death.

And it seems he didn’t even cover all the professions that are expected to go back.

Also endangered are domestic cleaners, who are now expected to go back to their employers’ homes – no matter what those other people have been doing, where they’ve been, what diseases they may have picked up. But they can’t visit their friends/relatives.

Owen Jones has this one right:

His advice to the people who employ domestic cleaners is right on the button.

Edwina Currie got into a proper state while trying to discuss it with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain:

Anyway, why is it so important to bring in cleaning staff from outside your home, possibly to spread the infection? Why can’t people just clean their own homes?

That’s what I’ve been doing!

Another comedy addition to those going back to work is film and television production companies. Here‘s Screen Daily:

Film and television production in the UK are permitted to restart providing all involved abide by social distancing guidelines, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed to Screen.

The change comes as part of the government’s latest guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic, which include the instruction “All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open.”

Workplaces that do reopen – including screen productions – should “ensure employees can maintain a two-metre distance from others, and wash their hands regularly”, according to the Covid-19 guidelines on the government’s website.

Here is the appropriate response:

It won’t work, of course.

Also reopening (in England) is the fast food chain McDonalds – creating widespread fear among employees who will be asked to risk their lives in contact with hundreds – possibly thousands – of other people every day.

As one such employee put it in this article:

I’m terrified of returning to work… The amount of customers will be astronomical… and I still don’t know how we will be protected.

I can’t help but think the official advice means that if you’re middle class or above, everyone thinks it’s fine for you to work from home, but if you’re working class like us, it’s no problem and you can go back to work.

Yes indeed – and this means low-paid workers are most at risk:

“The Government’s strategy will put low-paid workers with the poorest employment rights most at risk,” [said Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Marsha de Cordova].

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband [said] “It is the highest-paid workers who will generally carry on being able to work from home and lower-paid workers who are being asked to go back to work.

“We also know from … ONS figures that among men, construction workers have so far been more than twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as the average member of the population.”

The Tory government says it is prioritising safety for everyone returning to work.

But… well, look:

It isn’t happening; it won’t happen. It is the same as all the Tory promises throughout the crisis, about PPE, about ventilators, about testing, about contact tracing. If it isn’t exclusively for the rich, it isn’t true.

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Coronavirus lies: the government’s plan is falling apart – and Johnson only has himself to blame


So much for the big lockdown.

It transpires that, when Boris Johnson told us all to stay in our homes, huge numbers of us were being told by our employers that they couldn’t.

Construction companies are telling their workers to work because they have contracts to honour and Johnson hasn’t said a single word that would release them of their obligations.

A commenter to This Site told me about an electrical goods manufacturer – making non-essential products – that has told employees they must continue working.

That means many will be using public transport, possibly mixing with people who are infected – all for the sake of some shareholder’s profits.

The government is, in fact, saying people should go to work if they can’t work from home – but that’s just causing confusion, apparently.

Oh, incidentally, you know the government promised to pay 80 per cent of people’s wages if they stayed at home?

It turns out that’s only if employers agree to it. If they decide to lay you off instead, there’s nothing Johnson can do about it.

And we’re seeing that many of the problems with the Tory lockdown are due to their own austerity policies of the last 10 years.

So, for example, after depleting constabularies across the country of more than 20,000 beat bobbies, they now expect the 120,000 or so who remain to enforce a curfew on more than 65 million people – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the foreseeable future.

They can’t be everywhere. And we’ve established that the people of the UK are completely incapable of following a simple instruction, so wherever the police aren’t around to make sure we’re all behaving, we probably won’t be. And that’s creating a risk of contagion.

Perhaps Johnson should have given us instructions we could trust from the start.

Today (March 24), Matt Hancock has appealed for a quarter of a million people to volunteer to help out a National Health Service that was failing to cope with everyday demands on it before the coronavirus crisis hit it.

Notice that these will be volunteers – in other words: unpaid. This is now the land of Do-It-Yourself healthcare.

He reckons more than 11,000 former NHS workers have volunteered to go back and help out, which he says is fantastic. I say: Is that all?

Who else does he expect to come forward and what possible reason could unskilled people have for putting themselves in danger?

And has he yet realised that we needed all the immigrant workers who have been discouraged from coming to the UK by the “hostile atmosphere” (of racism) that his party has nurtured, and by Brexit?

We have every right to be disgusted by this.

The Tories have spent a decade stripping the country of the ability to cope with an emergency like Covid-19 and – now that it has arrived – they want us to sort it out for them – for free.

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.

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Confusion over sign removed from outside Labour conference. Was it anti-Semitic? If so, why?

Is this sign anti-Semitic? It shows Israeli political leader Benjamin Netanyahu, in a plan marked “Israel lobby”, launching “defamation” missles at Jeremy Corbyn, who is speaking on Palestinian rights.

Police have removed a sign depicting Jeremy Corbyn being attacked with “defamation” missiles by Benjamin Netanyahu, while the Labour leader speaks on Palestinian rights. Mr Corbyn himself had complained that it is anti-Semitic but members of the public seem confused about his reasons.

The Mirror reported:

An “anti-Semitic” poster from outside the Labour Party conference has been removed.

The Labour leader said he was “disgusted” that the poster had been put up outside the conference centre.

He said: “We asked the police to remove it and I’m glad they did.

“This kind of antisemitic poison has no place whatsoever in our society.”

Benjamin Netanyahu is depicted flying a plane which represents the Israeli lobby and dropping bombs of “defamation” accompanied by the speech mark anti-Semite, anti-Semite, anti-Semite.

It bore the slogan “IHRA tell the NEC how you feel” referring to the huge row about the party’s refusal to adopt the full internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism.

It suggests that accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour are being created by an Israeli lobby.

Firstly, an aside: one of the reasons I was expelled from Labour was for putting “anti-Semitic” in quotation marks in an article about material that clearly was not. Will Labour complain to the Mirror for doing exactly the same thing? If reporter Nicola Bartlett was a Labour member, would she be expelled? There’s a possible double-standard here, before we even start discussing the meat.

And the meat is a simple question: Is the image anti-Semitic?

Anti-Semitism is hatred toward Jews. If anything, the image is a depiction of hatred toward Mr Corbyn, and toward Palestinian rights. Isn’t it?

My personal opinion is that this is not an attack on Mr Netanyahu and/or the critics of Mr Corbyn he represents because they are Jews. There is no criticism here of Jews who do not wish harm (political or actual) upon Mr Corbyn, and anti-Semitism is a hatred of Jews, because they are Jews. The image would have to attack all Jews. It seems clear to me that it attacks people who call Mr Corbyn an anti-Semite, because they are liars.

The question of whether an “Israeli lobby” has been directing hate, including false accusations of anti-Semitism, at Mr Corbyn and his Labour Party is one that has been asked since the first allegations against his supporters, back in 2016 – and it has never been investigated by Labour, let alone answered.

Middle East news channel Al-Jazeera did investigate, and broadcast a four-part series entitled The Lobby, showing very clear evidence that the Israeli government was interfering in UK politics.

It may seem strange, then, that some have condemned a poster pointing this out. Legitimate criticism of Israel is not to be labelled anti-Semitic, even according to the flawed IHRA definition and examples.

The demand for the poster to be removed has triggered a huge debate on Twitter, with many people asking what is wrong with it:

Consider this dialogue:

That’s right, isn’t it? The missiles in the image are marked “defamation”, and it is true that false claims of anti-Semitism against Mr Corbyn have been made time and time again over the last four years. It is clearly a metaphor.

Then again, can anybody forget Rachel Riley’s comment about Jeremy Corbyn, wishing that someone would “take him out” (if I recall correctly)? She has (falsely, in my opinion) set out her stall as an advocate for Jews in the UK – although I feel certain that a vast majority of the 300,000 or so Jews living here may be extremely unhappy to have this said by somebody who claims to be speaking for them.

https://twitter.com/Norma_Daiquiri/status/1176063989865992192

This refers to a comment by Tracy-Ann Oberman, who was quoted in the Mirror article, claiming she would come to Brighton and rip it down herself if it wasn’t removed. Ah, but young Tracy-Ann doesn’t have a good record on factual accuracy when it comes to anti-Semitism…

I note also that a comment on the Mirror story suggested people should follow certain Twitter accounts including “David Collier, GnasherJew, Emma Picken, Lee Kern”. While I’m unfamiliar with Lee Kern, the other three are notorious troll accounts, part of an organisation known as the “GnasherJew troll collective”. Here’s David Collier, spreading a little unwarranted hate himself:

Most people just responded in confusion:

https://twitter.com/LizstChopin/status/1176068000396566530

https://twitter.com/Wirral_In_It/status/1176091459164016640

There are many, many more such comments.

This is what happens when the Labour Party tries to accommodate hate, rather than addressing it.

I mean, of course, the hatred of the people attacking Mr Corbyn constantly with fabricated claims that he is an anti-Semite.

His capitulation to them – fortunately the only sign of weakness by this hugely popular Labour leader – has merely worsened a situation that reached appalling levels of discrimination with the expulsion of anti-racist campaigners including Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and – yes – myself.

And when challenged over its attitude, both Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party run away.

I have never had an answer from the party as to why it pursued me as an anti-Semite. That process was started by an official who is now no longer a member of the party and was himself being pursued over allegations that he had leaked (in my case, false) information about anti-Semitism allegations to the press.

So – yes. This sign has exposed the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Not Labour’s failure to deal with anti-Semitism – but its failure to challenge false accusations and the people who make them. That is Labour’s shame today.

The Mirror article and its comments may be read at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/sign-taken-down-labour-anti-20146095

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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Let’s not contribute to these strategies of confusion

The video above, originally shown as part of Charlie Brooker’s ‘2014 Wipe’ show a couple of days ago, seems very important – especially to the social media.

It’s about strategies adopted by political leaders, here and abroad, to keep the population confused, uncertain what to believe, or what to do – and therefore powerless.

At a time when Yr Obdt Srvt can debunk a false claim one day and then have the very same false claim made the next – along with a denial of this blog’s findings – it seems this warning has arrived not one moment too soon.

150101cognitivedissonance

There has been a lot of talk lately about cognitive dissonance, in which people cannot accept new evidence that undermines a dearly-held belief.

Perhaps it’s time some of us with very strongly-held beliefs (I’m looking at supporters of the SNP and UKIP in particular here) stopped to examine the evidence for our beliefs a little more closely. Did it come from a reputable source – one that isn’t aligned with your political organisation? Has it been superceded by new information? And what does it mean?

Are you contributing to this “destabilised perception”, intended to “manage and control” you?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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