Tag Archives: demand

Restless public holds up Jon Snow monstering of ‘death minister’ Hancock as example of how media should hold Tories to account

People are getting tired of the BBC and other Tory-supporting media letting Boris Johnson’s government get away with its mistakes.

That’s why this drubbing of Tory “death minister” Matt Hancock by Channel 4’s Jon Snow – carried out while Parliament was deadlocked over Brexit last year – has suddenly become hugely popular on Twitter.

Snow? It’s more like a blizzard:

People haven’t been holding back in their criticisms of certain hacks in the mainstream media:

Will it do any good? Of course not.

As I type this, the BBC’s Politics Live has been discussing Chris Bryant’s nomination of US Presidential candidate Joe Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize rather than any of the disasters that the Tories are bringing to the UK.

Perhaps they’ll get around to the Tory cowards who are abstaining on the Internal Market Bill that plans to break international law and return violence to Northern Ireland later but I doubt it.

Oh look! They’re discussing Boris Johnson’s daft speech about re-skilling people for the post-Covid economy as if he knows what he’s talking about.

Perhaps we should all just adopt the Jon Snow ‘blizzard’ approach whenever we see our own Tory MPs instead.

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Will the police and the government have to give back 14,000 lockdown fines thanks to Dominic Cummings?

It will be very interesting to see how many people actually appeal lockdown fines, after Dominic Cummings showed that the conditions of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 are optional, not compulsory.

This Writer is avid to find out if Alexandra Roberts, wife of Tory MP Rob, lodges a complaint about the police who turned up at her 40th birthday party and told the visitors to leave her house.

The Government’s attempts to shore up the position of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings, by suggesting that the lockdown provisions are a matter of ‘individual responsibility’, may lead to the courts being swamped with appeals against fines imposed under its Coronavirus regulations.

Section 6 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 states that no person may leave the place they are living without reasonable excuse. It then sets out the 13 situations which may be deemed reasonable. What it specifically does not do is set out a subjective test whereby individuals may ignore the regulations if they feel that that is the right thing to do, because such a clause would be a legal absurdity – a bit like saying that you can’t burgle someone’s house unless you think it is the right thing to do.

Section 9 of the same provisions gives the police the power to enforce these provisions and fines of up to £3,200 have been set in England (Wales has similar provisions but a maximum fine of £1,920).

The powers have been implemented enthusiastically by police forces around the country – if you are not able to provide an explanation under one of the 13 exceptions and you are away from home, you are convicted. So far, more than 14,000 people have been convicted and fined for breaching these regulations.

Source: 14,000 Brits Could Now Appeal Lockdown Fines Thanks to Dominic Cummings – Byline Times

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Selfish MP calls for Wales to be abolished so he can visit the beach – and Tories can take control

Daniel Kawczynski: you can tell just by looking at him that he’s another Tory berk.

What a selfish, entitled Tory git.

And the people of Shrewsbury have elected him as their MP continually over the last 15 years, with an increasing majority every time. What possessed them?

Daniel Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, has called for the Welsh Parliament to be abolished so he can visit the beach.

Wales has coronavirus-related restrictions that are different from those in England. In Wales, people are not allowed to travel away from their local area and most cannot, therefore, visit the beach; nor can English people travel into Wales to do so.

In any event, Kawczynski is a fool because his nearest beach is in the Wirral.

His words suggest he is trying to use the virus and the lockdown – that his prime minister Boris Johnson imposed, let’s not forget – to rekindle the debate about whether the UK countries should have devolved Parliaments.

“I am sorry, but the time has come to reach out as Conservatives to large numbers of like-minded citizens in Wales who like us believe in one system for both nations,” he said.

“We must work towards another referendum to scrap the Welsh Assembly and return to one political system for both nations – a political union between England and Wales.”

He means he wants the Tories to carry out a political power-grab and take control of Wales, so they can impose their disastrous coronavirus policies there and kill thousands more Welsh people.

Fortunately, his efforts have resulted in him being made to look the fool that he is:

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How many Labour members will follow this councillor’s example – and demand refunds?

Labour now has an existential problem.

More than half a million members have heard that party staff spent years working to stop the party from winning at elections, and to foment distrust by – for example – failing to do anything about anti-Semitism.

They have been told that the party they joined – and into which they paid subscriptions – has been actively working against their wishes.

And over the last week, they have seen the new leader of that party doing his very best to protect the perpetrators of this monumental betrayal.

So it seems likely that many of them – huge numbers, in fact – will follow the example of Sarah-Jane McDonough and demand the return of the subscriptions they rightly feel were taken under false pretences.

If enough of them do that – and many may band together to demand it through the courts if the party tries to deny them what they want – Labour will run out of money and cease to function.

So Keir Starmer is likely to be facing a choice – either now or in the near future.

He can make explicitly public efforts to clean up the Labour Party – or he can learn to live with being the disgraced leader who killed the Party of the People. It’s up to him.

A Labour councillor is demanding that the party fully refunds all her membership fees and donations following the revelation that senior HQ staff conspired to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Stevenage councillor Sarah-Jane McDonough has written to request a refund of payments from May 2015 to the present day on the grounds that they were taken “fraudulently.”

Her letter was sent after an internal Labour report, titled The Work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in Relation to Antisemitism, 2014-2019, was leaked last weekend.

Management and staff on the right of the party were found to have used abusive language in WhatsApp chats to disparage Mr Corbyn and his supporters, along with other left-wing MPs and party employees.

The culprits also boasted of doing no work for months and conspiring to sabotage election campaigns and Labour’s attempts to deal with anti-semitism complaints.

Source: Labour councillor demands refund from party after leaked report exposed sabotage of Corbyn | Morning Star

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Socialist Labour MPs demand action on leaked Labour report but Starmer’s too busy saving his officials

Socialist Labour MPs – in other words, proper Labour MPs – have demanded action from party leader Keir Starmer, after a report showing how party officers sabotaged the party was leaked to the public.

The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs has issued a statement as follows:

“In light of the recent revelations about senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign, we, as members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, make the following demands:

“1. The report should be published in full officially by the Labour Party.

“2. An emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting should be convened to discuss its contents.

“3. That NEC meeting must establish a transparent process to investigate the conduct alleged in the leaked document, with the terms of reference set by the NEC officers.

“4. This process must produce a report, that is publicly available, which restores faith among Labour members in the practices of our party.

“We understand the disappointment and frustration that many Labour members will feel with the details revealed in this report. It contains revelations of senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign and suggests there are cases to answer on bullying, harassment, sexism and racism.

“We express our solidarity with Labour volunteers who give up their spare time to fight for a better society and to get a Labour government.

“We believe people must stay and fight for a Labour Government, organise to defend our socialist manifesto and push for action.”

The statement is signed by Diane Abbott, Paula Barker, Apsana Begum, Olivia Blake, Richard Burgon, Ian Byrne, Dan Carden, Mary Foy, Rachel Hopkins, Imran Hussain, Kim Johnson, Clive Lewis, Ian Lavery, Rachael Maskell, John McDonnell, Ian Mearns, Nav Mishra, Grahame Morris, Kate Osamor, Kate Osborne, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Zarah Sultana, Sam Tarry, Jon Trickett, Beth Winter, Claudia Webbe, Mick Whitley and Nadia Whittome.

But Mr Starmer has released a statement of his own, saying he intends to investigate: the background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned – despite the fact that we’re told he has been in possession of the report for more than a week; the contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report – which suggests an intention to find that it is not accurate; and the circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain – which suggests that he wants to attack the people who leaked it because he thinks that is much worse than gross misconduct and betrayal of every single Labour member and voter in the United Kingdom.

So it seems this has become a matter of trust.

The wider membership of the party will have to base its future choices on what Starmer chooses to do. But I will say this:

There is enough prima facie evidence in this report to justify the suspension of every Labour official, MP and member who is named in it as having acted against the interests of the party. Starmer should take this step, to justify members’ continued support – and to ensure that the accused don’t end up investigating themselves.

Postscript: And now we learn that Starmer bypassed Labour’s National Executive Committee – which is supposed to be it’s sovereign decision-making body – to announce that an independent investigation on the lines he described would take place. The NEC’s chair is furious:

https://twitter.com/andydaisyfox/status/1249738666848800768

The weird part of it is, Starmer didn’t have to do this to rubber-stamp a decision not to carry out the obvious investigation – into the behaviour of the Labour officials, MPs and members cited as having acted wrongly. Labour’s NEC is now predominantly right-wing and probably would have agreed to a whitewash anyway.

But now he will – or at least, should – be open to questions about why he thinks he is above the scrutiny demanded by the party of its leaders… People like Jeremy Corbyn, to name a topical example.

At this rate, it won’t be long before other leading party figures can demand a quick “no confidence” vote and he can go home.

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Raise taxes on the rich, voters tell Johnson. They’ll be disappointed – it was never in his manifesto

Voter confusion: a survey has shown that voters’ policy preferences indicate they should have put Labour in power, not the Tories.

The Independent reckons Boris Johnson is facing a dilemma after a survey found voters who gave him his election landslide want him to raise taxes on the rich.

There’s just one problem:

That was never a Conservative manifesto promise so he’s under no obligation to do anything of the sort.

Did these people not realise that they were voting for the promises the Tories put in their manifesto?

Voters have never had the right to make demands on a government after putting it in power.

And I know it must seem unfair, considering governments very rarely act according to their manifestos. Theresa May’s 2017 manifesto was obsolete almost before it was published.

And in Johnson’s case, the dilemma isn’t even “Does he deliver for Conservative voters or business leaders?” as the news website claims.

Johnson will deliver for himself, as always. If anybody else profits, that’ll be their good fortune.

But the survey does make one thing very clear.

Voters who want government intervention in the economy, tax rises for the wealthy and spending on public services made a mistake voting Tory.

Those were Labour policies.

Source: People who voted for Boris Johnson want government to raise taxes on the rich, survey finds | The Independent

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Normalising nastiness: US ambassador calls for acceptance of chlorine-washed chicken

Chicken: if this one was of the US chlorine-washed variety, do you think Boris Johnson would be soiling his hands with it?

It doesn’t matter what Theresa Villiers says; people in the UK are being told chlorine-washed chicken is “delicious” in a bid to brainwash us into accepting the substandard fare post-Brexit.

Ms Villiers, the Environment Secretary, has said chlorine-washed chicken would not be allowed into the UK as part of a prospective trade deal with the United States.

But in a letter The Sunday Times seemed happy to publish, US ambassador Woody Johnson (yes, that’s his real name and I wonder if he realises its euphemistic significance) demanded that chlorine-washed chicken should remain on the table during talks (I know; that’s hardly hygienic).

He claimed chlorine washes are “the most effective and economical way to fight food-borne illness” – but that’s not the point.

The issue is not only about making sure the meat is free of germs that could have attached themselves to it after slaughter; it’s about American-raised chickens being kept in such poor conditions that they are riddled with disease.

We would be eating diseased meat. At least, that’s the implication.

And there’s another question: if this spokesman for US chicken really did care about food standards, why not advocate that American producers raise theirs to the UK level? Why must we always accept the lowest standards available?

The trouble is that, by maintaining it as an issue – possibly one that could stop a trade deal, and by pushing it to an impressionable public as a viable alternative, the ambassador is normalising it; making it acceptable.

What does it say about our government that it even entertains such notions?

Source:  Johnson calls for ‘delicious’ chlorine-washed chicken in the UK after Brexit | inews

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Loach heads campaigners calling for benefit assessment ban after job centre death

Pointing the finger: Ken Loach joined the call to end unfair benefit assessment interviews after the death of a man in Llanelli.

A campaign to ban benefit assessment interviews has been launched after a 65-year-old man with diabetes collapsed and died after being found ‘fit for work’.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has called on the DWP to halt assessments for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance after the man died while waiting for an interview to discuss his future benefit options.

Discussing the death, This Site stated: “He would have been old enough to retire if the Conservatives had not decided to raise the retirement age for both men and women in an attempt to save a few pennies.”

I wrote: “Yes, he was obviously ill. But that doesn’t mean a thing to a Tory government… They call it a ‘positive benefit outcome’.”

Others compared the tragedy to a similar scene in left-wing film-maker Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake.

Now Mr Loach himself has spoken in favour of DPAC’s campaign.

Unconsciously paraphrasing my words, he said (according to the Morning Star): “What has happened really was disgraceful. The man was only 65 — he only had a few more months to go and he would have been retired anyway.

“Such is the brutality of it, but it’s clear that the Tories have no intention of changing their harsh system.”

And he said: “We have to vote them out — we may as well start with Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of this misery, who is as callous as he is sanctimonious.”

That is already well in hand – as you can read here.

Demanding an end to PIP and ESA assessments, DPAC activist Jennifer Jones raised the relevant point – that a man has died in a manner that could have been prevented.

It happened because a benefit assessor “lied about his fitness levels and abilities and he wasn’t given the support that his individual needs deserved”.

She’s right – and it makes a nonsense of repeated attempts by the DWP to claim that it does provide support tailored to the needs of each benefit claimant.

So far – in this case – the DWP’s only comment has been a message of sympathy to the deceased man’s family and friends.

DPAC – and Mr Loach – have demanded an end to benefit assessment interviews, for the obvious reason that they have now been proven to do more harm than good.

But there is no way the DWP – run as it is by a Conservative government – will take such action willingly.

Labour has promised to overhaul the benefit system completely, though.

The only way to be sure this does not happen in the future is to elect a Labour government.

Source: Campaigners call for benefit assessment ban after man dies in jobcentre | Morning Star

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Join the demand for common sense overhaul of ‘humiliating’ and ‘degrading’ PIP process

Uncannily accurate: The Conservative government’s genuine policy towards PIP claimants may as well be as it appears in this cartoon from 2017.

Liz Gumbley’s experience is shocking – and all-too-common.

She suffers from a lifelong progressive illness – multiple sclerosis, which is well-known to be increasingly debilitating.

Unfortunately, her assessment for Personal Independence Payment in 2015 was carried out by a physiotherapist who had no specialist knowledge of the condition.

The interview resulted in her losing the higher daily living rate of the benefit, despite having received it for the previous 17 years under the legacy benefit, Disability Living Allowance.

Apparently the reason she no longer deserved it was that she had been seen lifting a medium-sized handbag in order to retrieve a purse.

From this, the assessor – who had no experience of MS, remember – deduced that she was able to prepare and cook a meal, and disqualified her from receiving the extra cash on the higher daily living rate of PIP.

In fact, as supporting evidence from her own physiotherapist, her MS nurse and her husband demonstrated, Ms Gumbley was at high risk of burning or cutting herself due to cognition problems which meant she had not prepared a meal in five years at the time of the assessment.

Apparently the fact she was well-nourished, well-dressed, clean and of good appearance also counted against her.

She decided not to appeal, in fear that a tribunal would cut her benefit award even further.

The cut she did endure meant she had to cut back on exercise sessions that helped her keep her mobility, and her cognition and sensory problems have also worsened.

The Tory PIP assessment process actually contributes to the worsening of the claimant’s illness.

And the statistics show that Ms Gumbley is not alone in her experience: In a survey of nearly 900 people living with MS in the UK, two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents struggled to complete the PIP application form.

More than half (55 per cent) who had a face-to-face assessment don’t believe their assessor had a good understanding of MS.

And of the respondents who saw a copy of their assessment report, six in 10 (61 per cent) don’t believe it gave an accurate reflection of how MS affects them.

Ms Gumbley is appealing for supporters to sign an open letter to whoever forms the next government, calling for common-sense changes to the PIP assessment process.

She says people need a system they can trust, and should be able to rely on support without being in constant fear of having it taken away.

The MS Society’s open letter to the next UK Government, calling on it to make common sense changes to the PIP assessment process, can be found here.

In conclusion, Ms Gumbley made this cutting observation: “Calling it Personal Independence Payment is ridiculous. They’re not helping you to be independent.

“If you go to your assessment showing you’re ‘independent’ it goes against you.”

That has to change.

Source: My humiliating and degrading battle to claim disability benefits | Metro News

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A revolutionary thought: What if the government stood up for working people?

Transformation: What if a new government used job centres to stand up for working people and ensure that they didn’t have to take any job where they weren’t paid a respectable amount for the work they were asked to do? That would certainly be a plus!

How many employers get away with paying substandard wages – putting workers into poverty and making them struggle to pay for the basic requirements of life – because the Department for Work and Pensions forces benefit claimants to take those jobs, even if they are worse-off as a result?

Labour has said it will reform the benefit system. If so, one of the major changes must be to ensure that no claimant is forced to take a job that does not pay the actual living wage (not the fake Tory version – the actual amount calculated as necessary to avoid having to claim benefits). Am I right?

There can be no compulsion for people to refuse such work; everyone must have the right to free choice.

But I wonder how much the situation would change if employers were suddenly faced with the prospect of having nobody to do their drudge work for them on the pitiful rates they offer.

I reckon these fat cats – who plead poverty when asked for wage rises because they know there’s no way anybody can compel them to pay more – might suddenly find the cash.

Don’t you?

I know what you’re probably thinking: it will never happen.

But isn’t that because you have been conditioned to believe that, after nine long years of Tory coercion into whatever the latest fly-by-night spiv or dilettante fancies will make them a fast buck?

Labour is offering a better way. It hasn’t offered the possibility I’m raising here, but it should. So why not get in touch with Margaret Greenwood and direct her to consider it?

You have nothing to lose.

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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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook