Tag Archives: crisis

#Labour cash crisis: now #Starmer is cutting MPs’ advisers – starting with #Asian #women

Rosena Allin-Khan: she has been instrumental in exposing the Tory government’s Covid-19 failures so of course Labour leader Keir Starmer is penalising her.

And you still think Starmer’s not racist?

(Not you; the above is what you could say to anyone trying to justify this.)

But what happened to Labour’s short money? This is the cash given to Opposition parties in Parliament to help them with their costs. There was an attempt to take it away from Labour (Tories are like that – they try to screw the other side any way they can) but it failed, I thought.

So there should be cash for these two MPs to hire all the help they need.

That’s unless Starmer is using the cash for other purposes. I wonder what they are?

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Devastated parents of disabled kids were abandoned by Tories during Covid

Did you think you were hard-hit by the pandemic? Unless you’re a parent of a disabled child, think again!

Families with disabled children suffered astonishing levels of deprivation during the Covid-19 crisis (so far) as the Conservative government abandoned them to whatever fate befell them.

Read this information from a survey by Contact, the charity for families with disabled children – and weep. It found that, among almost 3,000 families:

  • Nearly two-thirds (61%) say that caring responsibilities mean they or their partner has given up paid work, on average losing £21,270 from their family income.
  • In the last 12 months, almost a third of parent carers have gone without heating (30%) and food for themselves (37%). Half have gone without toys, presents and computer equipment for their children.
  • 55% of respondents were shielding during lockdown. As a consequence of shielding, 30% report they got into debt or borrowed money, 15% got behind with mortgage payments, 10% used a foodbank for the first time and 7% lost their job.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents claim Universal Credit and 40% of those said they are worse off since claiming, despite assurances from government that no one would be worse off.
  • 92% of parent carers say going without affects their own health and a third (34%) saying it affects the health of their child.
  • Almost one in five say they have increased care commitments due to the pandemic that will impact their ability to earn money in the future.

So it seems the Tories have used the pandemic to hammer the people who needed help the most – while pretending they were ensuring that everybody would be helped.

Some might describe such behaviour as lower than verminous.

Sadly, it is on the very same verminous government that these families must rely for help now.

Contact is running a campaign for action, with steps including:

• An increase in Carer’s Allowance and child disability payments under Universal Credit.
• Energy companies to introduce a special tariff for households with sick and disabled children due to the rising bills facing families this winter.
• The government to invest in specialist independent advice services, to help families with disabled children claim what they are entitled to.

The first act you can take in the campaign is simple: write to your MP. Contact has set up a template email to make speaking out quick and easy.

You can find it here: Families with disabled children left financially devastated by pandemic, new study reveals | Contact

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Nero fiddled while his home burned; Johnson daubed

Boris Johnson on his holibobs: he’s an artist, and while we all think his medium begins with ‘P’, we didn’t think it was paint.

Here’s a good question:

At the time of writing, to This Writer’s knowledge, he wasn’t.

If you’re wondering what we’re on about, what with the great Spanish artist having died in 1973, then perhaps the following few tweets will help:

Yes. While on an expensive holiday abroad (funded by someone else – possibly Zac Goldsmith?) the prime minister has taken up painting.

Meanwhile, the UK is going to Hell in a handbasket, and Johnson’s absence has come under criticism:

Meanwhile, the UK is lurching from one crisis to another:

The Mirror lists the energy crisis that cold lead to power cuts; gas price increases that are putting factories on the verge of shutdown; the poverty faced by millions after the £20 cut in Universal Credit; empty supermarket shelves and the threat of permanently higher food prices; and the HGV driver shortage.

To that, we could add the escalating Covid-19 crisis that both the government and the mainstream media are ignoring; the NHS logjam that now starts at our GP practices and Sajid Javid’s lame attempt to divert the blame; the failure of Brexit and in particular the collapse of the Northern Ireland protocol due to Johnson’s lies; Priti Patel’s psychotic determination to cause the deaths of refugees, epitomised by her attempt to ensure her officials don’t take the blame; and the general racism of Tory MPs.

The response from Downing Street? Johnson is “continuing to lead” while still being on holiday in Marbella.

Never mind that, Diane – This Writer hasn’t seen or heard a peep out of him since he left, more or less a week ago.

I’m not convinced that Downing Street was telling the whole truth.

And it doesn’t change the simple fact:

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Rush for fuel shows what we think of Tory ministers’ promises


“‘Buy petrol as normal,’ says minister” – according to a BBC News headline.

So of course we all did the exact opposite. Motorists have been queueing at filling stations all day long, topping up their tanks and bringing Jerry cans along to be filled as well.

“Once bitten, twice shy”, as the old adage runs – and we have all been bitten far too many times by our worse-than-useless Tory government.

Remember: the Tories deliberately caused the crisis in fuel by making damned sure that Brexit would create a shortage of lorry drivers.

They have also caused huge problems with the import and export of goods, thereby ensuring that prices would skyrocket and you would not be able to afford them.

What kind of government – of Prime Minister – deliberately engineers the impoverishment of their entire nation?

Boris Johnson’s Tory government – that’s what kind!

I’m only sorry I’m unlikely to be around to see how the history books describe this perfect storm of stupidity in around 100 years’ time.

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In the biggest crisis of our time, why has the government’s emergency committee not met since MAY?

Rampant: Covid-19 is multiplying rapidly across the UK, infecting thousand more people every day – and Boris Johnson hasn’t convened his emergency committee to deal with it since May 10.

Is this the reason all the Johnson government’s attempts to handle Covid-19 have fallen apart?

The committee convened by the prime minister to tackle emergencies facing the UK – known as COBRA after its location (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) – has not met since May 10.

That shocking fact was revealed, not by Boris Johnson, but by London Mayor Sadiq Khan during a phone-in on James O’Brien’s LBC radio talk show.

He said it seemed the Tories in the government don’t like to be challenged:

“The government doesn’t like having their policies and their ideas challenged, as often happened at Cobra,” he said.

The caller – Alex – had suggested that the army could help with Covid testing and treatment. Mr Khan said: “You’re right to remind us that the army in the past has come through and saved the bacon of successive governments.

“You remember the Olympics of 2012? Security was a shambles. The army stepped in and sorted out security in the Olympics.

“You remember early on during this pandemic, real problems with the personal protective equipment… The army stepped in and gave us a huge help.

“And you remember the Nightingale hospitals; the army played a huge role in co-ordination.

“I will pass this on – not through Cobra because there is no Cobra.”

There is no Cobra.

Listeners reacted with horror:

… and with humour:

Khan also mentioned test and trace boss Dido Harding being surprised that an increase in tests was being demanded this month (September): “I’m surprised at her surprise, because it was perfectly predictable – not only because the WHO said six months ago it was important, but back in March… the government stopped community testing… because they hadn’t got enough tests, and that led to the increase in community transmission.

“My worry is that they’ve not learned the lessons of the first six months of this virus.”

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Is this Boris Johnson’s latest plan to kill the NHS – make doctors so sick of it that they quit?

At breaking point: doctors are planning to quit the NHS en masse – just as we need them the most – because of Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their daft Tory mismanagement.

A survey of NHS doctors has shown two-thirds want to quit within three years due to Covid-19 burnout and low pay. Is this what Boris Johnson wants?

He would be able to speed privatisation, claiming that the NHS has failed due to lack of staff – while (obviously) neglecting to admit that this is due to his own underfunding of the service.

However: it seems this is the worst possible time for it to happen as Johnson’s daft-headed response to the Covid crisis appears to have triggered a massive increase in infections.

The UK has recorded a massive rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, amid concerns the government has lost control of the epidemic just as people are returning to work and universities prepare to reopen.

On Sunday almost 3,000 people in the UK tested positive for Covid-19, a 50% increase in a single day and the highest daily total since May.

That’s a massive increase – and it’s only likely to get worse.

In fact, with Johnson still in charge – and Matt Hancock still Health Secretary – it seems certain the UK is heading for a disaster of titanic proportions.

Source: More than 1,000 UK doctors want to quit NHS over handling of pandemic | Society | The Guardian

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Johnson in leadership crisis over ‘back to work’ demand*

UPDATE – 4.30pm, August 29: Furious Tory backbenchers are demanding an explanation from Boris Johnson after an opinion poll showed he has squandered his thumping great lead over the Labour Party.

Charles Walker, vice-chair of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said his colleagues were concerned that a series of u-turns over Covid-19 had undermined the party’s credibility to govern. This Site has already reported that this has been attributed to a desire not to be outflanked by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP.

The fiasco over ‘A’ level exams and GCSEs, together with policy reversals – most recently on the wearing of face masks in schools – have created unrest that Walker said he will have to report to Johnson when MPs return to Parliament on Tuesday (those who do – many are likely to stay away due to social distancing).

Of course the poll lead the Tories enjoyed at the end of March, when with the help of misleading news media they were widely held to be handling Covid-19 well – and Labour was awaiting the announcement of its new leader, should not have been taken as an indication of the kind of lead the Tories could hope to maintain.

But new Labour leader Keir Starmer has failed to make a good impression on the general public with a series of questionable decisions, so the outlier Opinium poll showing his party neck-and-neck with the Tories is a major wake-up call for Johnson and his cronies.

The drama is related to the revelation that Boris Johnson could be facing a challenge to his continuation as prime minister – over his demand that we should all stop working from home and risk Covid-19 infection by going back to work.

It’s an odd demand to make as we come to a time of year when coronavirus infections normally increase – and indeed we are seeing a rise in the Covid-19 infection rate.

Doubly so, considering the fact that a majority of both employees and employers seem to be opposed to it.

iNews has reported that a month after Johnson ditched his advice that people should work from home in favour of them returning to the workplace, his demand has fallen on deaf ears. Town centres remain empty.

Ministers are trying to explain away the sluggish response by pointing to the fact that August is the height of the holiday season (even though, with Covid restrictions, there’s practically nowhere to go).

But there appears to be a growing wave of opinion that Johnson has failed to inspire the nation and should be replaced.

(To be continued…)

* This story is ongoing and will be updated as new developments come to This Site.

Source: Ministers may be wasting their breath with calls for people to go back to work

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Leaked report warns of Covid-Brexit “horror show” – remember THIS IS WHAT BORIS JOHNSON WANTS

Two-fingered salute: the UK might fall into lawlessness and chaos because of Boris Johnson but he doesn’t care, as long as he gets what he wants.

A Cabinet Office “reasonable worst-case” report on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit combining with another wave of Covid-19 has laid out exactly what Boris Johnson wanted for the UK when he became PM.

Johnson, you’ll remember, did not want any trade deals with the European Union after the UK leaves that bloc.

It was widely believed that this is because the hedge fund managers who supported his bid to be Tory leader have bet heavily on the UK going into recession, with many big-name firms going out of business. The claim was that they could make £8 billion out of it.

Of course, none of these multi-billionaires care a fig about the rest of us. If the country falls into chaos they’ll be off to their holiday homes in the sun, with their cash safely stowed in a tax haven.

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, you will be left to deal with food, fuel and power shortages, illness and deaths caused by flood, flu and Covid-19, and incursions into the country from outside such as EU boats coming into our fishing waters.

And, as may reasonably be expected from his government’s failures so far on Covid-19 – the school reopening furore, school meals, exam results, care home deaths, PPE procurement, face mask procurement, test and trace, contract nepotism… the list goes on and on – on flooding (remember that?) and on any other subject you care to mention, the Johnson government has not planned any response to this at all.

The article goes on to state:

  • One in 20 Town Halls could go bust in a second Covid wave, sparking social care chaos.
  • The economic impact of the virus and Brexit could cause public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
  • Troops may have to be drafted on to the streets to help the police in the worst-case scenario — 1,500 are already on stand by.
  • Social distancing measures and masks will have to continue until 2021 regardless.
  • Supplies of food and fuel are all under threat this Christmas if Dover becomes blocked.

The planners warned that “pandemic influenza, severe flooding, a Covid second wave and an unruly exit from the EU transition period could cause a systemic economic crisis with major impact on ­disposable incomes, unemployment, business activity, international trade and market stability.”

It could be combined with likely “coordinated industrial action” as well as shortages risking public disorder and a mental health crisis that will hit the poorest hardest.

Nobody in a Tory government is going to worry about a mental health crisis that harms poor people, of course.

And the attitude by leading Tories to this frankly terrifying report seems to be that if they ignore it, it will go away.

Michael Gove is quoted as babbling: “We got Brexit done with a great deal in January.

“A brighter future awaits as we forge our own path.”

A government spokesperson did add that this was a “reasonable worst case” scenario.

But on the Johnson ministry’s record so far, it is stretching the facts to breaking point to suggest that the government is “ensuring we are ready for all eventualities”.

That simply is not going to happen. On the evidence of the last 12 months, it would be irresponsible to believe anything Johnson, his ministers or his spokespeople say about it.

But there’s one more matter to remember:

If this disaster happens, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, other than to prepare as well as you can (because the Tories simply won’t).

I anticipate another stockpiling splurge, worse than the rush for toilet roll in March, at the very least.

Obviously the worst-case will be social unrest and violence – and I’m not ruling that out, either.

Whatever happens, if we end up with no deal and any of the feared outcomes are triggered, you must remember (because he’ll lie about it):

It is what Boris Johnson wanted all along.

Source: Leaked document reveals Cabinet’s emergency plans for perfect storm of No Deal Brexit and coronavirus second wave

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Haters gotta hate – and they’re hating Miriam Margolyes for her honesty about Boris Johnson

Miriam Margolyes: her point about Boris Johnson was perfectly reasonable.

What a lot of hate toward a national treasure.

Miriam Margolyes – whose performances in Blackadder alone mark her out as a national treasure – appeared on Channel 4’s The Last Leg (May 8), where she admitted that when it was revealed that Boris Johnson had caught the coronavirus, she had a moment of weakness when she wanted him to die.

The point she was making was that it is wrong to feel like that about anybody – even somebody who, like Johnson, has made the coronavirus crisis into a human disaster that has killed thousands more people than it ever should have.

It’s perfectly reasonable to say that.

Laura, below, got it right – and she provides the clip for the benefit of those of us who missed the show:

But haters have to hate – unreasonably, it seems, as Johnson’s fellow Tory MP Nadine Dorries demonstrated with a spectacular misfire that drew the following withering response.

Some of the haters have selectively quoted Ms Margolyes, taking her out of context. It hasn’t helped their cause:

Last word (of those that I grabbed from the “top tweets” on Twitter) goes to this guy, who has exactly the right idea:

The slapdown won’t stop the haters from hating – and that’s just as well.

It means we know who they are, and what to think of them.

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Tories refuse to help Universal Credit claimants left dangling due to coronavirus

Thousands upon thousands of formerly-working people are learning the realities of the UK benefit system, after being told by the Tories to wait months before their first benefit payment.

If they hoped the Tories would speed up the four-week assessment period for Universal Credit – because of the coronavirus crisis and the cash crisis it has created for millions – they thought wrong.

And they need to remember that they won’t get paid until a week after the assessment period ends; it’s a five-week total wait.

The Tories could make the wait shorter – but they won’t.

The usual excuse is that UC is supposed to mimic the salary system in which people get paid once a month (except of course we know that many people are paid weekly, or fortnightly).

The current excuse, sported by UC director general Neil Couling is “If you play about with the architecture of Universal Credit you won’t be able to pay the vast millions we have to pay every month.”

Nonsense.

It’s an automatic system. If you qualify, you qualify – and it can pay you straight away.

It doesn’t, because the Tory system is to make you wait; to push you far enough to take out an advance loan that will take months to pay off; to push you into permanent debt.

It seems the coronavirus is a perfect opportunity to get 1.4 million people (at current count) servicing a needless debt for months to come.

Hopes new Universal Credit payments could be made faster have been dashed after the Government said the four-week assessment period was ‘integral’ to the benefits system.

Many campaign groups had been hoping for an accelerated process to help alleviate the pressure families found themselves under after the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses to close and people to stay at home as part of the lockdown.

Speaking at a press briefing, Universal Credit director general Neil Couling said: ‘If you play about with the architecture of Universal Credit you won’t be able to pay the vast millions we have to pay every month.’

Source: ‘No chance’ wait for Universal Credit payments can be shortened | Metro News

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