Tag Archives: dead

Tributes pour in for left-wing social media activist Maureen Fitzsimmons

This Writer is one of many who will be mourning the loss of a genuine asset to UK politics today.

Like many, I never met Maureen Fitzsimmons in real life; I only communicated with her on the social media, where her comments were a breath of fresh air amid the murk and miasma of Tory neoliberals and New New Labour backstabbers.

Her tweets enliven many Vox Political articles and much of my Twitter feed.

Tributes have been pouring into Twitter – and if you’re not following any of the accounts below, you should; they all support the kind of sensible politics that Maureen advocated.

Here’s a selection:

#BorisJohnson announces #Covid19 #PlanB – but does he really think anyone is listening?

Breaking: the look on Johnson’s face shows how desperately he’s hoping that this will distract us all from the fact that he’s a serial liar who inflicts stupid rules on us and ignores them himself. No such luck, bullsh*t boy!

Nobody in England is even slightly interested in what Boris Johnson had to say in his Covid-19 press conference at 6pm today.

Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle would have been, if the prime minister – for now – had held the event without bringing the proposals to Parliament – but the information was provided by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, as the broadcast went ahead.

As for everybody else – well, people are being urged to work from home wherever possible, starting on Monday, so that’ll be vetoed by bosses.

Face masks will be required in public settings like theatres and cinemas – except when eating, drinking, exercising or singing – from Friday. People will just walk away and do their own thing. I understand a lot of farmyard barns may be empty this winter, due to Brexit, so perhaps people will party it up there instead of anywhere someone will be checking up on them.

And Covid passports will be required for entry into large entertainment venues. Again, people are more likely to stay away and do their own thing.

Alternatively, the operators may simply refuse to enforce Johnson’s new rules.

Why?

Because nobody has any reason to pay attention to Boris Johnson any more.

As the prime minister’s former colleague, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, says: trust in Johnson has eroded beyond redemption:

This means the biggest danger to public health in the UK at the moment is Boris Johnson, not Covid-19 or any of its variants including Omicron.

The measures he has announced today may be sensible, for all anybody knows, but that doesn’t matter.

People will ignore them because he is the one who says they’re necessary, and he’s a liar who just says whatever comes into his head to get him out of trouble like the Downing Street party scandal.

Why else do you think he’s announcing them now?

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Did refugees who died in Channel include Afghan soldier endangered by UK withdrawal?

Not ‘migrants’ – ‘refugees’, ‘asylum-seekers’ or simply people: and the boat pictured here is much sturdier than the one in which 31 people have died.

Now the Tory government is twice damned over the deaths of 31 refugees while they were trying to cross the Channel to the UK.

It seems one of the people in the boat that sank was an Afghan soldier who had worked with Armed Forces from the UK.

It has been revealed that UK authorities left behind a wealth of information, including the identities of Afghan nationals who worked with them, when they scuttled off like rabbits for the planes out of that country.

Afterwards, it seems, no help has been provided to those people, despite the evidence that their lives are in danger as a result of UK government bungling.

So it’s no wonder if one family had tried to make their own way out to seek asylum – rightly, of course – in the country they had helped:

Sadly, that family ran into the wall of exclusion that has been put up by the same Tory government that had endangered them. Court action has been launched against the Tories over that policy, but too late for these people:

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary whose policy is the basis for the court action, has dutifully expressed her sorrow at the loss of lives, and done… nothing else. This casts doubt upon her sincerity:

And she’s not the only one:

(Labour’s Keir Starmer attacked the Tories, only last week, for failing to block all refugees from getting onto UK shores.)

Of course the Tories and their client journalists are closing ranks. The cover story is that refugees are not safe because they are resorting to people traffickers to smuggle them into the UK, and these criminals are putting them on craft that are deathtraps:

Fine words from Natalie Elphicke, who herself was caught trying to pervert the course of justice by influencing legal proceedings against her husband Charlie. Her punishment was one day’s suspension from Parliament, which is an odd penalty for a criminal offence.

Ms Elphicke was also found to be one of the MPs who have a second job – at the height of the corruption scandal over these forms of employment – and to be a hypocrite who said Marcus Rashford should concentrate on his day job (football) rather than campaign for school children to have decent meals during the Covid pandemic.

In her comments she also ignored the fact that all the legal routes into the UK have been closed by her colleague in the Home Office. And there’s also this:

So the Tory government had closed legal routes into the UK, but if someone manages to get here by other means and then claim asylum, that claim is legal.

Enter Tory journalist Quentin Letts to trot out the lie that these people come to the UK with “expectations” that they can get benefits here, that they can get a job here, and that the UK is “a soft touch”. When he appeared on Good Morning Britain with that nonsense he got short shrift:

Bringing this back to the Afghan soldier who was said to be in the boat: if the claim is true, he wasn’t coming because he thought the UK was “a soft touch”; he was coming because he had been endangered by the UK government – the Tories who are now so desperately trying to justify themselves with lies about criminals and benefits.

Lies told by killers – whether overt or inadvertent. The refugees and asylum-seekers are the innocent and blameless.

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Here’s some of the anti-Palestinian racism and terrorism that Keir Starmer’s Labour loves

Keir Starmer: like Priti Patel, he seems to support terrorism rather than condemn it.

It didn’t take long, after Priti Patel announced that the UK was to proscribe the political organisation that forms the government of Palestine, for the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn to start landing.

Here’s some ‘Mercan called Jackson Wolf Pincus demonstrating the kind of ignorance we have come to expect from people of – shall we say – a certain persuasion:

Rather than shut up, though, Jackson doubled down – prompting a well-deserved put-down as follows:

Yes indeed, it does seem the case that Jeremy Corbyn’s pacifist, anti-terror stance appeals both to supporters of Palestinian self-determination and to non-racist Jews (and you should bear in mind that many people are both).

The Hamas story also led to debate about whether Patel’s decision was justified, or if other organisations or governments might deserve similar treatment.

The government of Israel, perhaps?

It’s an accurate criticism. There’s a very clear paper trail that leads from MPs – on all sides of Parliament – to the Israeli Embassy and that nation’s government. Many of our MPs appear to be in that government’s pocket.

Among them is Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader who persecutes both Muslims and left-wing Jews, sparing his sympathy only for those who echo his wholehearted support for apartheid Israel and its violence to the Palestinians it holds captive.

So it should be no surprise that Starmer has whipped Labour MPs to support Patel’s proscription of Hamas. He wants to make sure Palestinians know that the UK supports Israel against them, no matter which party is in power, never mind the fact that Labour is supposed to support self-determination for both Israel and Palestine, and never mind the fact that Labour’s sovereign decision-maker – the party conference – voted to condemn Israel in September.

Many people, it seems, believe Starmer is right to support Israeli atrocities. Perhaps they don’t understand what is really going on.

If you know such people, show them this:

Let’s focus down onto Palestinian children. Many of us have kids, right?

How would we feel if our children were treated in the same way as those in the thread below – bearing in mind that Keir Starmer supports, to the hilt, everything that has happened to them?

It’s a catalogue of terror – and one that is incomplete because I am sure there are many murders that are hushed up by the Israeli authorities.

Keir Starmer supports this terror, and so does Priti Patel. Remember that she was forced to resign from Theresa May’s cabinet after trying to run her own policy on Israel, using public money, during and after a visit to that country to meet top politicians there, while claiming to be on holiday.

Nobody should excuse deaths and other harm that Hamas or other Palestinians have caused. Blame for the Israel-Palestine conflict lies on both sides.

But when one starts bandying around words like “terrorist”, one should apply it fairly.

Looking at the way Israel forces Palestinian people to live, and the disproportionate number of deaths and injuries suffered by Palestinians in comparison to Israeli, it is clear that Palestine is not the only country run by terrorists.

What does that say about its supporters like Starmer and Patel – and all those UK politicians who have taken money in return for their support?

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Tragedy in the Channel as 31 PEOPLE die. The real refugee crisis is these deaths


Public figures including Priti Patel and Boris Johnson have rushed to mouth condolences after 31 people, including five women and a girl, died in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK.

It’s sickening hypocrisy from the government that has done its best to ensure that people are more likely to drown than reach our shores.

And what happens if we find evidence that Patel’s Home Office policies contributed to the deaths?

Remember: Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill proposes that anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them, in breach of the UN refugee convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It states that refugees should use safe legal routes – but there are no such routes.

Clause 38 of the Bill potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK. It has already set Patel at odds with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has a Royal Charter to rescue anybody facing drowning within UK territorial waters – no matter what their legal status may be.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work – but mere assertion doesn’t cut any ice. If so, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues?

Now consider the rhetoric coming from the Tories after today’s tragedy – the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since the International Organisation for Migration started collecting data in 2014.

Boris Johnson said the UK would leave “no stone unturned” to stop human trafficking gangs.

He was trying to justify the unreasonable and potentially fatal policy in his government’s Bill.

As for Priti Patel: It turns out she was told back in November 2019 that her policies were causing asylum-seekers to use more dangerous routes into the UK:

“A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups,” the report said.

She wasn’t interested then – possibly because the report’s advice was to provide more legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK, and to address their reasons for wanting to leave their own lands. She is keen to continue ensuring there are no legal routes.

So Tory policy is to ensure that refugees/asylum seekers have no choice but to use illegal means to arrive in the UK – even if it means they may drown.

They have stoked hatred against these people – who may be fleeing the effects of warfare in their own countries, either caused directly by Western governments like the UK’s Tory administration, or using weapons sold to the combatants by those governments.

And they have falsely claimed there is a refugee crisis in the UK, with the number of refugees spiralling out of control.

Take a look at the graph below. Does it look like the UK has a serious crisis to you?

Oh, and Keir Starmer and his Labour racists aren’t blameless either.

Only last week, Starmer accused the government of failing to do enough to stop crossings: “The home secretary repeatedly says in strong language what she is going to do about the immediate problem and delivers absolutely nothing,” he said.

But it isn’t Starmer’s opponents’ territory; it’s his own because he is as racist as Patel and Johnson.

Given his comments, he should not be allowed to claim any moral high ground if Tory government policy is indeed found to have contributed to this tragedy.

The solution is to open up legal routes into the UK and treat people using them as human beings who deserve to have their reasons for coming here judged fairly. It always was.

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Ambulance crew says people are dying because Tories are defunding & privatising NHS

This is damning – and it confirms what This Writer suggested earlier:

It isn’t sustainable at all, and we know why. Firstly, the Conservatives have withdrawn huge amounts of funding from the National Health Service:

Secondly, much of what little remains is being given to private companies that aim to profit from your illness rather than improving your health. They are making matters worse:

By the way, let’s not hear anything about Covid-19 making matters worse. Those days are long past:

From the graph, it seems 5,000 beds or fewer are taken up with Covid-19 patients.

The real Covid problem, of course, has always been that too many NHS beds have been removed altogether from the service – possibly because of the defunding that created a staff shortage of 100,000?

Sadly the NHS crisis will continue under the Conservatives because they want to privatise health altogether; they don’t see the profit in a healthy nation.

And a Labour government under Keir Starmer won’t help because his policies align with those of the Tories on most issues including this.

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Jodey Whiting had an incurable condition. Why did the DWP try to force her into a benefit reassessment?

Death by DWP: Jodey Whiting.

This is a good question – triggered in This Writer’s mind by a reference to a different case.

Please read the following Twitter thread, which was prompted by a tweet referring to the death of DWP benefit claimant Philippa Day:

Yes, why does the DWP force people with incurable or terminal conditions to prove that they still have a lifelong disability or are still dying?

Reading those words, I thought about Jodey Whiting. She had a number of disabilities, including scoliosis which – as far as I can tell – is an incurable condition that requires constant treatment for the length of the sufferer’s life. If untreated, it could be life-threatening.

So it was pointless to demand that she attend a work capability assessment, because it was impossible for her condition to have improved. It could only worsen.

There is an argument that a WCA could take place to ascertain whether a claimant’s payments should increase – but that cannot be used as justification in Ms Whiting’s case because her benefits were stopped.

The DWP’s Green Paper on Disability, released in July this year (2021), acknowledges that it is pointless to keep reassessing people with lifelong and/or terminal conditions and proposes the creation of a Severe Disability Group (SDG). People put in this group would not have to face reassessment.

If the DWP is admitting that it is unreasonable for people with lifelong conditions to face constant reassessment now, then it would also be unreasonable to suggest that they should have faced constant reassessment in February 2017, when Ms Whiting took her own life.

Strangely, this does not seem to have been considered by the High Court when it rejected an appeal for a second inquest into Ms Whiting’s death, last month (October).

I wonder why the court did not consider that the absence of necessity for the assessment that led to Ms Whiting’s benefits being cut was a material consideration in her case.

There’s now a second appeal for another inquest. Perhaps the point could be made this time around?

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Benefits assessor pays off family of dead claimant – is this the new trend?

Death by DWP: Philippa Day.

Is this the new fashion for the Department for Work and Pensions and its privately-hired assessors: pay off the families of people who have died and sweep their cases under the carpet?

Philippa Day is the second deceased benefit claimant this week whose case is being ended with a payment by one of the organisations involved in pushing her to her death.

This time, benefit assessor Capita is paying up in an out-of-court settlement after Ms Day’s family started a lawsuit. In the other case, the DWP itself paid more than £16,000 to family members of another claimant after being ordered to do so by an Independent Case Examiner (ICE).

Coroner Gordon Clows delivered a damning indictment of Capita and the DWP at the inquest into Ms Day’s death in January this year.

He said her mental illness had been “exacerbated” by the way her benefits were processed: “Were it not for this problem, it is not likely that she would have [taken the act which ended her life].”

And he said a lot more. See This Site’s previous article – here – for all the damning details.

Now Capita is paying an undisclosed amount – out of court – meaning there will be no UK court verdict against the organisation or the Department for Work and Pensions to show that they drove a vulnerable woman to her death.

Do you think that is fair? I don’t.

Nor, it seems does solicitor Merry Varney, who acted for the Day family on behalf of law firm Leigh Day.

She said: “Capita has shown acceptance of their failures and a willingness to ensure their mistakes are not repeated, however there remain too many examples of the DWP, which controls the financial circumstances of the majority of people too sick to work, acting inhumanely to those receiving benefits and a continued resistance by the DWP to transparent investigations into benefit related deaths.

“Until the DWP changes its attitude, people like Philippa and her family remain at risk of gross human rights violations and ‘benefit related deaths’ are just another example of preventable deaths of people with disabilities occurring without any proper investigation or scrutiny.”

Somebody needs to take a court case through to the end. Otherwise the DWP and its assessment firms will keep dodging responsibility for the thousands of deaths they are causing.

Source: Capita pays compensation to family of woman who died after benefits cut | Welfare | The Guardian

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Did DWP torture this disabled benefit claimant until he died?

There are many kinds of torture – not just physical but also psychological.

This Writer has to ask whether the Department for Work and Pensions used psychological torture on a disabled benefit claimant by its own failures to carry out its duties properly.

DWP officers had left the claimant to be supported by an elderly, disabled parent – his appointee – who also needed daily carers and meals delivered.

Departmental guidance states that they should have found another appointee – but they did not do so. Why not?

Instead, the claimant’s ESA and PIP were repeatedly stopped due to failure to attend assessments, because letters were sometimes sent to the claimant’s address and sometimes to his parent’s.

The benefits were restarted after interventions – but the DWP has apparently lost the evidence showing why the claims had been restarted.

There are supposed to be safeguarding procedures to protect vulnerable benefit claimants but – as we discovered after the death of Jodey Whiting – nothing has been done to encourage officers to follow them.

In this case, the DWP repeatedly failed to follow its own safeguarding procedures, despite the fact that officers knew the claimant was vulnerable.

In addition to physical health problems, this claimant had severe depression. At one point, a sibling contacted the DWP to say that the claimant’s GP had sent them for psychiatric assessment due to a deterioration in their mental health.

The sibling explained that they had been to the claimant’s house and found unopened post and said they weren’t fit for a PIP assessment, but another such interview was arranged – by letter.

The result was predictable: the claimant didn’t answer the door and their PIP was stopped. The same also happened in relation to their ESA claim.

The claimant died – underweight, “unkempt and dirty” – after having been denied ESA for three months and PIP for three weeks.

His parent had been providing cash for food, even though that person had their own care package, meals prepared and carers attending daily.

The claimant’s sibling complained to the DWP and the government department made a payment of ESA arrears and £3,000 of backdated PIP.

Unsatisfied, the sibling took the matter to the Independent Case Examiner, who ruled that a further payment of £10,700 in PIP be paid to the claimant’s estate and a consolatory payment of £2,500 to the family.

And a fat lot of good it dead the deceased man!

But think how much the DWP saved; one-off payments totalling £16,200 – which included arrears, remember – is much less than might have been handed out if the claimant had remained alive.

So I have to ask: did DWP officers deliberately push this claimant to death?

They knew he suffered from severe depression but chose to mess him around.

Brown envelope phobia is a known phenomenon in which depressed people avoid opening letters from the DWP – so they sent him letters that they knew he would never read.

They deliberately failed to find a new appointee, and sent important notifications to the claimant’s former appointee – knowing that he would not be able to read them.

Another known behaviour of depressed benefit claimants is aversion to confrontations with DWP-appointed benefits assessors; they believe (justifiably, as many documented cases show) that they’ll be cheated out of payments.

But these DWP officers still sent an assessor to this claimant’s address anyway. Is it really credible for them to say they did not expect what happened?

Or were they deliberately inflicting psychological torture on a man with severe – mark that: severe – mental health problems?

To This Writer, the evidence is clear: the problem at the DWP is systemic – people there are encouraged to ignore their duty of care to claimants.

But with the Court of Appeal refusing to allow another inquest in the case of Jodey Whiting, it seems impossible to bring the evidence needed to prove it into the light of day.

Is the whole of the UK’s benefit and legal system rigged to push vulnerable people to their deaths and then hide the facts, simply because they happen to be sick and/or have a disability?

Source: Disabled claimant died underweight, ‘unkempt and dirty’ after ESA and PIP wrongly stopped | Disability Rights UK

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Priti Patel’s planned immunity for officials who cause deaths of refugees is NAZISM

Nazi: Patel wants Border Force staff who cause the deaths of refugees to be immune from prosecution. What’s the defence – that they’re “just following orders”? That was what the Nazis said too.

Somebody has already called it fascism, but in fact this is Nazism:

According to The Guardian,

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

The home secretary is seeking to introduce a provision in the nationality and borders bill that could give officials legal protections in the event that someone drowns.

Whether the provision, tucked away in an obscure corner of the bill, would actually protect officers from conviction under international maritime laws could be tested in the courts.

Presumably their defence will be “I was just following orders”.

Wait – where have we heard that before?

Ah yes: Nuremberg. It was the defence put forward by German soldiers responsible for Nazi atrocities like the Holocaust.

And we know it:

Still, there is a precedent. After all, government employees have been immune from prosecution over the deaths of sick and disabled people for years.

Apparently people are being discouraged from pointing out the obvious far-right, Nazi parallels – so kudos to this Twitter user who accurately labels Home Secretary Priti Patel, the fiend responsible for this move:

If this legislation is enacted and people die, she should be dragged out for trial in The Hague – and I, for one, would be quite happy to see her sentenced to execution.

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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