Tag Archives: debate

Tory Hunt’s argument to block refugees is WRONG. Will the Tories really use it to change the law?

Border Force: if it has to enforce a new law blocking legitimate ways for refugees to come into the UK, won’t it be creating a market for people-traffickers?

Take a look at the following clip, from the July 6 edition of BBC2’s Politics Live.

The antagonists are left-wing social media presenter Ash Sarkar and Tory MP Tom Hunt, and they’re discussing plans by the Johnson Tory government to block ways in which refugees can come to the UK.

She puts forward common sense points about the reasons people would want to come to the UK after leaving a home country where they may be in danger – and points out that cutting off legitimate ways of entry will send more folk to the people-traffickers.

He repeats the oft-debunked – untrue – claim that refugees must settle in the first safe country they enter – and blusters. A lot.

As I stated on Twitter: “You can sympathise with every adult woman trying to reason with a little boy having a tantrum, can’t you?”

The concern is that it is Hunt who is in a position to make a new UK law on refugees.

On this evidence, it will be prejudiced – if not downright racist.

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Is aid cut a Tory bid to inflict avoidable megadeaths on foreigners?

RIP democracy: Boris Johnson cut aid to foreign countries without offering MPs a chance to vote on it. His claim that the law allows such a move is highly debatable. 

The message This Writer took from MPs’ failure to force a vote on reversing foreign aid cuts is that it means there will be hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths in affected countries.

That was said by Tory Andrew Mitchell, who seems to have come a long way since the “BikeGate” controversy.

And the really offensive part was that the decision to cut foreign aid from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of National Income (do they mean Gross Domestic Product?) was taken without allowing Parliament to vote on it.

It was an offence against democracy, because Boris Johnson’s Tory government believes in dictatorship instead.

And (obviously) it believes in finding ways to ensure that as many people as possible die.

Ministers have said it is possible to vary the amount spent without changing the 2015 law that makes the target binding.

But the decision to make the change unilaterally means there is no deadline for restoring that target – meaning the government could leave the cut in place indefinitely.

Isn’t there a more important question to be answered, about what’s being done with this aid money?

Isn’t it important that it should be used to ensure that the nations receiving the money need less and less of it in the future?

Has that been happening? How can we check?

There are many questions to be answered about foreign aid and This Writer hopes the debate on Tuesday (June 8) provides some of the answers.

The joy of it is that the Tory government has shot itself in the foot, whatever happens.

It has already garnered bad publicity over this in the week before the UK hosts the G7 summit.

It will receive more bad publicity with the debate.

And Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said he wants a substantive vote, which means if Boris Johnson refuses to grant it, he’ll have even more bad publicity.

Source: Foreign aid: Rebel Tories blocked in bid to reverse cuts – BBC News

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MPs demand inquiry into Boris Johnson’s ‘failure to be honest’

Opposition parties in the House of Commons are demanding that Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle allow a vote on an inquiry into Boris Johnson’s “consistent failure to be honest” in statements to MPs.

They have no chance of actually securing such an inquiry – the huge Tory(/fascist) majority in Parliament will kill it – but the debate will be hugely embarrassing to a prime minister who lies habitually.

And of course, deliberately lying at the Dispatch Box is Contempt of Parliament – for which the highest penalty is expulsion.

It occurs to This Writer that a viral video by Peter Stefanovic may have something to do with this move, having been viewed more than 11.5 million times.

Here it is – let’s give it a few more:

The letter was organised by the Green MP Caroline Lucas and it has been signed by five other parliamentary party leaders: Ian Blackford (Scottish National party), Sir Ed Davey (Liberal Democrats), Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru), Colum Eastwood (SDLP) and Stephen Farry (Alliance).

One name is significant for being missing from the list:

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, was invited to sign the letter, but declined. A party source said Labour did not normally sign up to initiatives launched by other parties.

This is typical Starmerism. He won’t sign up to any good Opposition ideas unless he can claim they come from him – although he has been quite happy to support Johnson’s government policies, no matter how daft.

Perhaps it’s time for genuine Opposition parties to resurrect an old US presidential campaign slogan from 1964, and say: We want a choice, not an echo.

As for Johnson, I can only echo the sentiment voiced by Billy Connolly, above. The Big Yin has always been able to spot a wrong ‘un.

Of course, it means most of the Tories who follow Johnson know exactly what he is and don’t care. Otherwise, they would be admitting they need psychiatric treatment and should not be in their current jobs…

(… although let’s be honest, they probably consider being an MP their second or third job, behind representing whichever private firm has them lobbying the government on its behalf!)

To Billy’s pronouncement, let’s add another piece of advice, for those whose sense of humour encompasses this kind of wit:

Source: Parties call for inquiry into Boris Johnson’s ‘failure to be honest’ | Politics | The Guardian

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Rayner defies EHRC by threatening to suspend ‘thousands’ of Labour members

Angela Rayner (here with her boss Keir Starmer): hypocrites – and very possibly anti-Semites without acknowledging it.

Note to Sienna Rodgers at LabourList: the headline on your report is wrong. It should have read Angela Rayner is a big ol’ hypocrite.

In the article, Rayner states that the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party are not open to debate:

There’s no debating what the EHRC said.

LabourList also reported another statement she made to the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference – insultingly held on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians – that she and Keir Starmer attended rather than support the Palestine solidarity event:

If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.

The two comments are mutually exclusive. The report clearly states that

We have concluded that the practice of political interference was unlawful… The Labour Party should… implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process.

Her threat to suspend thousands – a warning that the leadership is planning to purge the party of anybody who dissents against its dictatorship – is itself political interference in the process, as it is an attempt to suppress complaints by members against the actions of the leadership of which she is a member. Therefore she is not only debating the legitimacy of the EHRC’s finding; she is ignoring it altogether.

Remember that this is all about the attack on Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer, party general secretary David Evans, and others at the very top of the Labour leadership including Rayner herself, despite the fact that she once said this:

She went from that position to saying that the truth is “unacceptable”:

She is a hypocrite. She has revealed her true colours. She cannot be trusted. She should be ejected from her position of power.

This will be hard because the Labour Party leadership has a well-known track record of rejecting any complaints against its own members and friends, no matter how well-justified they may be.

But we have all seen this behaviour and we are talking about it:

And organisations that formerly wanted Rayner’s support and endorsement are now rejecting her. To be honest, I don’t know if the following tweet was connected with what she said on LabourList, but I anticipate that this is the soft footfall that precedes a stampede:

Oh, and by the way, Labour is not completely irredeemable. Members across the UK did come out in support of Palestine, unlike their treacherous leader and deputy leader. Here’s a tweet from Wales:

Let’s remember that Rayner – and her vile boss Starmer – are saying that they are taking all this action against the good members of their own party because of hurt, harm and injury done to Jewish people in the UK.

What about the harm done to Jewish people who agree with the viewpoint Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking?

That’s right. These Jews feel that Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking them. And Rayner, Starmer et al treat them as though they don’t even exist.

Isn’t that attitude a little… you know… anti-Semitic?

Finally, Labour’s deplorable leaders need to acknowledge that this confrontation between them and party members arose because the EHRC found that the leadership had been interfering in investigations of anti-Semitism complaints in order to make it seem that there were more anti-Semites in the party than was the case.

A court found only last week that the process of investigating accusations against This Writer – me, Mike Sivier – was perverted in order to produce a false finding against me.

Labour failed to follow its own investigation procedure. It did not adequately inform me of the nature of the allegations against me (in fact, the party changed those claims as it went on, in order to ‘fix’ the result), and a party officer leaked false claims about me – including a lie that I was a Holocaust denier – to The Sunday Times (which subsequently had to publish a lengthy correction).

And I’m not the only one who has suffered this treatment. The EHRC report found that, of the investigations it examined, no fewer than 60 per cent suffered from bias calculated to discriminate against the respondent – against the person accused of anti-Semitism.

Where are the apologies for lying and smearing us? I still receive abusive messages accusing me of anti-Semitism, even now. It may be that I will continue receiving them for the rest of my life. The Labour Party is to blame for that. Where is the contrition? Where is the apology for that?

Conservatives who rejected free school meal plan have done the impossible: they made Nigel Farage look reasonable

No square meals: vulnerable children will be forced to go hungry during the school holidays because the stingy Tory government wants them to starve.

Conservatives in Parliament have rejected a plea by footballer – and anti-poverty campaigner – Marcus Rashford for the government to fund meals for poor children during school holidays.

Despite some unease on the Tory benches, a motion on providing 1.4m disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during holidays until Easter 2021 was voted down.

Conservatives were scathing in their criticism of Rashford, who personally experienced food poverty as a child:

But this attitude is nonsense from a political party that has spent decades depriving working-class parents of the financial ability to feed their children.

The hypocrisy is even stronger during the year of Covid-19 when people are being forced to live on a fraction of their normal wages, or to claim Universal Credit and suffer a five-week delay in payments that pushes them into debt, meaning the amount they receive will never be enough.

Meanwhile, the Tory-funded “gravy train”, pumping money to their chums in business for Covid-19-related measures that don’t work, is chugging along merrily:

Rashford took to Twitter – the social media that was the focus of Brendan Clarke-Smith’s petulance – to spell out his frustration:

But the most biting criticism came from Nigel Farage, the former UKIP and current Brexit Party leader, who said on Twitter that “not being seen to give poor kids lunch in the school holidays looks mean and is wrong”.

The comment went viral, and it isn’t hard to understand the reason:

The strange forces on Twitter that spot anti-Tory tweets and try to mitigate them meant that the very first reply to Farage’s message came from one Helen Thomas, who contradicts herself in her own Twitter bio: “No personal messages, why are the lefties so vile?”

She had to change it from “Why are there so many rude selfish people on Twitter?” – possibly after it was pointed out to her that she is one such person. So we can see where she’s coming from.

Her response was that poor people should forage for food – and it has received short shrift, I’m happy to report:

And it got worse for her after she revealed where she found her apples:

Yes indeed. How devoid of empathy & humanity must you be to make Nigel Farage appear sensible.

But that is exactly what many (although not all) Conservative MPs have done – following their boss Boris Johnson’s lead.

Including your MP, perhaps.

Postscript: Readers in England may wish to note that the devolved governments in Wales and Scotland have both provided funds to ensure that free school meals are available to children who need them:

Source: Marcus Rashford in ‘despair’ as MPs reject free school meal plan | Education | The Guardian

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‘Scum’ Tories use indignation over insult to hide their refusal to support people in Covid-related hardship

If the cap fits: Christopher Clarkson breaks off whizzing through a speech vilifying Labour to wonder why Labour MPs are vilifying him.

What a lot of fuss over such a little word!

Admittedly, I wouldn’t like it if someone called me “scum” while I was making a speech.

But let’s consider the context.

The Labour Party was using its Opposition Day to discuss the criteria under which the government provides funding to jobs and businesses facing its new restrictions, and to demand that the Tories honour their claim that they will ensure workers receive at least 80 per cent of their previous incomes while on the Job Support Scheme extension and facing hardship.

Here’s what prize Tory Christopher Clarkson had to say about it:

You can see why Angela Rayner said what she did, I’m sure!

Clarkson’s complaint cut no ice with members of the public, for whom Rayner’s contribution to the debate had made up for six months of near-silence as Keir Starmer’s sidekick. Here’s part of her speech:

Responses so far show the public overwhelmingly on her side:

And they were quick to call out Clarkson’s complaint as a tactic, intended to distract from the thrust of the debate:

Last word goes to this commenter, who raises the issue of class:

“Spumae”, by the way, is the Latin for scum. Expect to hear it in the Commons – a lot – over the next few years.

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Tory heretic Baker says Church of England could lose official status for criticising Brexit

Steve Baker: what’s the line I’m looking for? “Before he demands the bishops remove the mote from their eye, he should remove the plank from his own”?

Perhaps Steve Baker should be excommunicated? His true religion appears to be Brexit, anyway.

After Church of England bishops spoke out in the House of Lords against Boris Johnson’s ridiculous ‘Australia-style’ (read: ‘no deal’) Brexit, the oily Baker slithered straight to The Times with his ridiculous suggestion.

The Times is behind a paywall, which limits the damage. I certainly won’t pay Rupert Murdoch any money just to see what he said… but then I don’t have to. Here’s what he said:

I don’t know why Tories say stupid things like this, though. It only lays them wide open to mockery and ridicule, viz.:

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This former Commons speaker can still put a prime minister firmly in his place

This clip speaks for itself.

Former Commons Speaker Lady (Betty Boothroyd), speaking in today’s (October 19) Lords debate on how badly Boris Johnson has cocked up the UK’s departure from the European Union, said the following:

“Never in my Parliamentary experience have I witnessed such a collapse in the people’s trust.”

That is a warning.

Johnson will be too stupid – or too selfish – to take it.

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Miliband masters Johnson in clash over Bill to break international law

Speech-less: faced with a barrage of factual accuracy from Ed Miliband, Boris Johnson sat, head bowed, with nothing to say.

Given that Boris Johnson had threatened to withdraw the whip from Tory MPs voting against his Internal Market Bill, one would have expected him to launch a spirited defence of it during the debate.

That expectation may be doubled in the knowledge that he was facing not Keir Starmer, who had run away to self-isolate after one of the children he sent to our “perfectly safe” schools exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, nor Angela Rayner, but Ed Miliband.

Certain commentators were betting on a knockout win for Johnson, against a man who famously botched eating a bacon sandwich.

They were completely wrong. Miliband metaphorically mashed Johnson’s derriere like burger meat and then fed it back to him.

The speech was probably the most golden moment of the political year.

“I have been part of many issues of contention across the Dispatch Box, but I never thought that respecting international law would be a matter of disagreement in my lifetime,” he said.

“As Leader of the Opposition, I stood opposite the Prime Minister’s predecessor David Cameron for five years. I do not know why the Prime Minister is rolling his eyes. I disagreed with David Cameron profoundly on many issues, but I could never have imagined him coming along and saying, “We are going to legislate to break international law” on an agreement that we had signed as a country less than a year earlier. Yet that is what the Bill does, in the Government’s own words.

“Is it right to threaten to break the law in the way the Government propose? Is it necessary to do so? Will it help our country? The answer to each question is no. Let us remember the context and the principle. If there is one thing that we are known for around the world, it is the rule of law.

“This is the country of Magna Carta; the country that is known for being the mother of all Parliaments; and the country that, out of the darkness of the second world war, helped found the United Nations. Our global reputation for rule making, not rule breaking, is one of the reasons that we are so respected around the world. When people think of Britain, they think of the rule of law.”

He continued as follows:

Mr Miliband said: “We respect the fact that the Conservative party, under this Prime Minister, won the election. He got his mandate to deliver his Brexit deal: the thing that he said was—I am sure she recalls this because it was probably on her leaflets—“oven ready”. It is not me who is coming along and saying it is half-baked; it is him. He is saying, “The deal that I signed and agreed is actually—what’s the word? Ambiguous. Problematic.” I will get to this later in my speech, but I wonder whether he actually read the deal in the first place.”

We found out the answer to that, didn’t we?

Here it is:

Boris Johnson has not even read his own Internal Market Bill.

Mr Miliband continued:

He wasn’t even halfway through his speech, and Miliband had destroyed Boris Johnson.

Remember at the top of this article I said Johnson could have been expected to deliver a spirited defence of this Bill?

He didn’t.

He just sat there and took it, shaking his head as though in disbelief.

And by the end, he looked older than his dad.

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Is Starmer self-isolating because one of his children has Covid symptoms? Oh, the irony!

Keir Starmer: he’s self-isolating – to avoid taking part in a Brexit debate that will reveal his attitude as utter hypocrisy?

Labour leader Keir Starmer has announced that he is self-isolating because a member of his household has developed symptoms in line with those of Covid-19.

He’s being very coy about the identity of the person with the symptoms – because it is potentially highly embarrassing for him.

Is he referring to one of his children? They are, I’m told, 10 and eight years old and will have returned to school at the beginning of the month – as Starmer himself demanded.

He pushed for the Johnson government to reopen schools, no matter what the risk to pupils and parents. It would be hugely ironic if he is now a victim of his own policy.

The person displaying symptoms has had a test and Sir Keir is now awaiting the results “in line with NHS guidelines”, they added.

Of course, it is possible that the symptoms are merely those of the normal viruses that run rampant in schools at this time of year:

In that case, many thousands of children and parents will have their lives disrupted for no very good reason, protecting themselves against a threat that may not even be attacking them!

His self-isolation means Starmer will not be speaking in the Commons debate on Johnson’s plan to betray international law in the Internal Market Bill.

He had previously stated that he is less concerned about Brexit than Covid-19.

This is, of course, a complete about-turn from the policy he forced Labour to put forward at last year’s general election, when he demanded that the party offer a second referendum that (it turned out) wasn’t wanted.

He has switched from Brexit scepticism to “Get Brexit done”. Hypocrisy:

So it is probably just as well that he’ll have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Better still: why doesn’t he just go away and never come back?

Source: Coronavirus: Sir Keir Starmer self-isolating after household ‘symptoms’ – BBC News

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