Tag Archives: debate

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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Never mind the polls – the Tories are terrified and Boris Johnson is running away from scrutiny

Frit: I don’t think Boris Johnson is really so terrified his hair is standing on end, but he is definitely running away from public scrutiny. What a miserable coward.

While the Tory-loving media have been touting an out-of-date poll suggesting a 68-seat Conservative Parliamentary majority, the actions of the party tells a different story.

Boris Johnson has run like a scalded cat from the possibility of being interviewed by Andrew Neil, after the veteran reporter seemed to prefer the sound of his own voice to any answers Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn might have given, in an interview earlier this week.

It seems the cowardly Johnson is afraid that he may face questioning over his own sexism, racism and attempts to spread Islamophobia, the many lies he has told – including to the Queen, and perhaps about his alleged financial connections with Russian money and with hedge fund bosses who apparently supported his bid to become Tory leader in return for a “no deal” Brexit.

He will also snub Channel 4’s election leaders debate on the climate crisis today (November 28) – and he will not attend the BBC’s seven-way leader debate tomorrow (November 29). Mr Corbyn will also be absent.

Mr Johnson’s place will be taken by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak. Who? This Writer had been led to believe Dominic Raab would be there.

But Mr Raab has his own questions to answer after the family of Harry Dunn were excluded from a constituency hustings.

Mr Dunn was killed in a car crash in August, over which the suspected culprit claimed diplomatic immunity – and was granted it by Mr Raab.

So he’s running scared too!

Mr Corbyn’s place will be taken by Rebecca Long-Bailey, who doesn’t have any cloud hanging over her head as far as we can tell.

On the Andrew Neil interview, a Tory source apparently said discussions are ongoing, while Labour chairman Ian Lavery, more believably, said: “He’s running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis, and over his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed.”

Meanwhile, Tory campaigning has shifted from attacking Labour to defending their own vulnerable seats, indicating that they are spooked by poll results and are switching their seat-winning ambitions away from all but a few Leave-heavy Labour marginals.

The best analysis so far seems to come from a Twitter account run by someone calling themselves “Dr Moderate”. See for yourself:

So there you have it.

Support for Labour is increasing day by day and Tory attempts to stop it have failed.

But the Tory-supporting media, including the BBC, are telling you the opposite at a time when the law says they must be impartial.

Source: Boris Johnson ‘running scared’ from Andrew Neil grilling as Prime Minister misses two TV debates – Birmingham Live

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Tories pretend their press office is a ‘fact check’ organisation. Public ridicule is hilarious

The Conservative Party seems to be getting desperate.

Its press office resorted to the dirty trick of pretending to be a ‘fact check’ organisation during the ITV leaders’ debate – presumably so it could tweet a (false) claim that Boris Johnson won the confrontation.

Well, that didn’t work!

Not only did people take extreme offence at the pretense…

… but they also decided to have their own laugh at the Tories’ expense.

Take a look at some of these examples:

https://twitter.com/HKesvani/status/1196893828529164289

Way to go, Tories. Not only did your man mess up his big TV appearance…

But you’ve also ensured that nobody will believe another word to come out of your publicity machine.

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Tory and Labour leaders clash in TV debate – and Corbyn walks it

Did anybody really think Boris Johnson would beat Jeremy Corbyn in a televised debate? Well, he didn’t!

Mr Corbyn’s calm, confident delivery trumped Mr Johnson’s bluff and bluster in a confrontation that was all over long before the end credits rolled.

This Writer was contributing to the Twitter debate, and you can tell how it was going from some of my comments:

(Here’s another good comment on that.)

Here’s my snap verdict:

And I wasn’t alone:

In the end, discussion dissolved into ridicule of Mr Johnson’s repetitious verbiage:

It seems likely Mr Johnson wishes he had been!

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Commons speaker denies Boris Johnson another attempt to get MPs to support his Brexit deal

Ruling: John Bercow.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has ruled that MPs will not debate a government motion to debate Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal again today (October 21) – because it was discussed only 48 hours previously.

Mr Bercow was referring to the “same question” procedures which hold that discussion of the same question may not occur twice in any Parliamentary session because it is “repetitive and disorderly to do so”.

He said he considered whether the dispatch of Mr Johnson’s letters to the European Council changed matters enough to make another debate allowable – and decided that, since the motion was tabled on Saturday afternoon, before those letters were sent, it did not.

As I write, he is taking points of order.

I’ll post a more detailed article later.

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