Tag Archives: drug

#CorridorsOfPowder – hypocritical Tories will force big employers to do random drug tests. What about Westminster?

Shaun Bailey: he has already been branded as the Conservative candidate for Islamophobia, sexism and misogyny. Now he’s adding hypocrisy to the list with a plan for drug testing in major firms, but not in Parliament – which is known to have a serious cocaine problem.

It seems Priti Patel has picked up on Tory London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey’s plan to force firms that employ more than 250 people to subject the workforce to random drug tests.

Her endorsement follows one by Iain Duncan Smith last month.

But how strange that the UK Parliament, where the House of Commons alone employes around 2,040 people – not counting MPs, is to be exempt from any such legislation!

The Conservative government are planning to introduce legislation which would force big employers to carry out random drug tests on their employees – but MPs look set to be exempt from the policy.

Yesterday, the Home Secretary Priti Patel endorsed controversial plans drawn up by the Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey.

The Tory Mayoral candidate says the policy is designed to reduce ‘middle-class cocaine usage‘ in the capital. However, MPs – who are notorious users of the drug – will be exempt.

Yes indeed. Back in August, This Site pointed out that cocaine use in the House of Commons has become so bad that at one point even the arch-Tory Daily Mail published an article dubbing the Palace of Westminster “corridors of powder”.

Apparently the washrooms of Parliament are… awash with the stuff.

I wonder if this is not a subtle (especially for the Tories) bid to sabotage Bailey’s bid to be Mayor of London.

He has already blotted his copy book in the past and it seems hard to believe this plan will be a vote-winner. People who take the drug won’t support a man who has inflicted random testing on them and those who don’t will hate the fact that the Tories are imposing tests on others but not submitting to the same tests themselves, even though it is well-established that Westminster has a serious nose candy problem.

Perhaps someone thinks it is a way to get rid of him, while still imposing a little extra unnecessary unpleasantness into the lives of ordinary people (most of whom won’t have been anywhere near cocaine).

Source: The Tories are planning to force workers to undergo random drug tests – but MPs will be exempt | Evolve Politics

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With all the cocaine washing around Parliament, why AREN’T ministers subject to random drug tests?

The Palace of Westminster, home to both Houses of Parliament. Who knows how many drugs are holding up the elected and unelected representatives inside? Well… we won’t, because Downing Street is refusing to allow random testing.

This is almost poetic, although there’s no justice involved.

Iain Duncan Smith tweeted a link to a Sun story claiming that drug tests should be carried out randomly at people’s places of work, to catch users.

This Writer only discovered he had done so because a twitter friend then added her own spin to the story, thus:

It’s a good point. This Site has covered the prevalence of cocaine washing around Parliamentary… washrooms in the past.

The situation had become so bad that even the Daily Mail had dubbed the Palace of Westminster “corridors of powder”.

And yet what should be the next item to catch my eye on Twitter?

The Independent had picked up on the original story – Tory London Mayoral candidate (and himself a disgrace to politics) Shaun Bailey saying he’d demand random drug tests on all firms with more than 250 employees if elected mayor – and asked the same question as MaiaB, above.

The response from a Downing Street spokesperson does no credit to the Conservative government at all and can only boost fears that they not only consider themselves to be, but have actually put themselves, above the law:

“We expect the highest levels of professionalism from everybody in government. That remains the case, but there are no plans for that.”

What a crock!

If the last six months of Covid-19 cock-ups have demonstrated anything, it’s that there isn’t an ounce of professionalism in Boris Johnson’s rabble. It is, quite simply, the worst excuse for a government the United Kingdom has ever had to suffer. And that’s amid stiff competition!

The latest evasion shows that the Tories can’t even be trusted not to be dosing themselves full of recreational substances when they’re supposed to be – and bear these words in mind – serving the nation.

Because if they weren’t, they’d have no objection to the tests, would they?

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Boris Johnson’s big NHS meltdown

After their campaign on law and order dissolved into chaos, the Tories tried to take the moral high ground on health. It didn’t work.

Most particularly, it didn’t work for Boris Johnson, who was challenged on the subject by prime minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Corbyn was keen for Mr Johnson to explain why his government had held secret trade talks with US firms that would nearly triple the price of medicines bought by the NHS, creating serious pressure on the service at a time when it is already under enormous strain.

I discuss the issue here, or you can watch this video to have it in a nutshell:

Note also that “drug pricing” is now to be known as “valuing innovation”. And, as a TV comedian once said, from now on radiation will be known as “magic moonbeams”.

Here’s Mr Corbyn, opening his questioning in PMQs – and Mr Johnson’s answer:

Of course, Mr Corbyn was well aware of the situation regarding the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi; it was his intervention that succeeded in getting it provided on the NHS, we’re told.

Mr Johnson’s claims about building 40 new hospitals fare less well in the fact-check. As Mr Corbyn put it: “As for the fabled 40 hospitals, that figure dropped to 20 and then finally dropped to six.” They’ll be down to none in the event of a Conservative election victory.

Mr Corbyn continued: “We learned this week that Government officials have met US pharmaceutical companies five times as part of the Prime Minister’s planned trade deal. The US has called for “full market access” to our NHS, which would mean prices of some of our most important medicines increasing by up to sevenfold. While the Government are having secret meetings with US corporations, it is patients here who continue to suffer.”

And he said: “Of course we need to import medicines from various places; I just want it to be done in an open and transparent way. I do not want secret talks between Government officials, on behalf of Ministers, and big pharma corporations in the USA.”

He slammed Tory privatisation of NHS services, which has skyrocketed with more than £10 billion being frittered away to private companies and their shareholders, rather than supporting the health of UK citizens.

He said: “What we do not want is private companies like Virgin Care suing our NHS for contracts that they did not get. Our NHS should be focused on making people better, not making the wealthy few richer.

“National health service A&E departments have just had their worst September on record. This morning, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that this winter the NHS needs more than 4,000 extra beds.” But under Boris Johnson’s government, he said, the number of people in England waiting for an operation has now reached a record high of 4.4 million.

He continued as follows:

And he concluded: “Despite the Prime Minister’s denials, the NHS is up for grabs by US corporations in a Trump trade deal. Is it not the truth—the Government may not like this—that this Government are preparing to sell out our NHS? Our health service is in more danger than at any other time in its glorious history because of the Prime Minister’s Government, his attitudes and the trade deals that he wants to strike.”

It is indeed the truth.

Mr Johnson spluttered on for a while but the best he could do in his defence was quote a discredited CBI claim that Labour would spend nearly £200 billion on a privatisation programme; the CBI itself has admitted that the claim was based on questionable assumptions and withdrawn it.

He lied that Labour would tax corporations, people, pensions and businesses – in fact Labour will only increase taxes on the people earning the most, who are therefore most able to accommodate such a charge.

And he said Labour would condemn the UK to two more referendums – on Brexit and Scottish independence. He neglected to say that he would consign us all to even more Brexit uncertainty as he would try – yet again – to push through a departure on the worst possible terms for the majority of the nation.

Finally, he appears to have become tongue-tied in his predictions of the future, mixing the roles of his party and Mr Corbyn’s.

I’ll fix that for him now:

“That is the future for this country: drift and dither under the Conservative party, or taking Britain forward to a brighter future under Labour. That is the choice this country faces.”

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Shock revelation: Liar Boris Johnson has been secretly selling out the NHS

Boris Johnson has been selling out the National Health Service in negotiations on a trade deal that would allow US companies to set drug prices, it has been claimed.

The revelation about these secret talks could not come at a worse time for the Tory government, as it prepares to dissolve Parliament and launch a general election campaign.

This is electoral poison for the Conservatives as Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and international trade secretary Liz Truss have all insisted that the NHS is “off the table” in talks with the US if the UK leaves the European Union.

The threat is that NHS finances would be put at risk by a trade deal with the US that would force the health service to buy more expensive drugs.

And there is evidence that it is an overarching Tory policy to lay the NHS open to exploitation by US pharmaceutical monopolies, as the talks began under Theresa May (who also lied about them) but have continued under Mr Johnson.

Who will vote for a government that is bad for our health – and deliberately lies about the harm it is doing?

Here’s the information from Channel 4’s Dispatches:

The Independent has reported that more than one-third of people surveyed in a recent poll said they were “very concerned” about the future impact of a deal with Washington on the NHS.

Meanwhile, Tories like Michael Gove have apparently been lying through their teeth (metaphorically, on Twitter)…

… and the public isn’t having any of it:

The message for the general election is clear:

Your NHS is not safe with Boris Johnson – or any of his Conservative liars.

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Jeremy Corbyn has helped get cystic fibrosis drug on the NHS – after Tories failed

Winners: Luis Walker (left), with mum Christina and Jeremy Corbyn, who helped get manufacturers of a life-changing cystic fibrosis drug to provide it to the NHS.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been instrumental in persuading a pharmaceutical giant to provide the NHS with a “life-changing” drug for people with cystic fibrosis.

He appeared on ITV’s This Morning with Luis Walker, the young sufferer whose campaign has led to the result, and his mother Christina. They were interviewed by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan, who explained that they are also involved in work for cystic fibrosis sufferers:

Luis had written to Theresa May, when she was prime minister, to help him access the drug Orkambi. But she failed to secure a deal for its provision on the NHS.

According to This Morning‘s YouTube site, “After having no luck – Luis wrote to Jeremy Corbyn, who vowed to take on his fight. It seems like the Labour Leader made all the difference. Yesterday, the NHS announced they had reached a deal with pharmaceutical giants, Vertex, making the drug available to patients in the UK within the next 30 days.”

Note that the NHS in Wales and Northern Ireland are still waiting to get the drug although, from what was said in the segment, it’s just a matter of time.

Mr Corbyn also included a video in his tweet:

This is an excellent demonstration of Jeremy Corbyn’s true quality – so don’t expect to hear much of it on the mainstream media!

After all the attempts to blacken his name with hearsay accusations, this is a clear – factual – demonstration of where the Labour leader’s priorities really lie.

He is all about helping people who need it. Contrast that with Boris Johnson (and indeed Mrs May), who are all about helping themselves.

I know which I would rather have running the country.

And that’s why you shouldn’t expect to see much about this on the national news.

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Has Johnson bullied his own mother into withdrawing from a campaign criticising him?

Charlotte Johnson Wahl (right) with Boris Johnson (left). In between is Rachel Johnson, her daughter and his sister.

Boris Johnson really is a despicable runt, isn’t he? It seems now he has been manipulating his own mother for political purposes.

Charlotte Johnson Wahl had signed a public letter, to be published in The Times, criticising the poor provision of treatment for Parkinson’s disease on the National Health Service.

The letter had been organised by the charity Parkinson’s UK as part of its “Get It On Time” campaign to ensure patients can have reliable access to drugs while they are in hospital.

This is a topical issue as the provision of some medications would be endangered after Brexit – particularly the “no deal” departure that Mr Johnson has supported so strongly.

The letter was due to appear in the newspaper this week – but was suddenly pulled from publication.

It has now been revealed that Ms Wahl had informed the charity that she no longer wished her name to be on the letter, after having been contacted by Downing Street.

According to The Guardian: “A Downing Street source suggested Johnson Wahl had not been fully aware that her decision to back the letter was going to result in it being published in a national newspaper.

“’When charities are speaking to members of the public they have a duty to be fully transparent about why they are asking for support, the campaigns they are running, and if the information shared with them is to be used in the public domain,’ the source said.”

This seem utter piffle to me.

For a start, Parkinson’s UK chief executive Steve Ford has made it clear that the organisation always ensures that those whose voices it uses know exactly what they are doing.

“Our priority will always be people affected by the condition, and their voices and views are integral and at the heart of everything we do. As such, we are always open and transparent about how their voices will be represented,” he said.

Furthermore, Ms Wahl is a longtime campaigner in association with Parkinson’s UK for better provision on the NHS for people with the condition, predating her son becoming prime minister, as The Guardian‘s article makes clear.

Diagnosed with the condition when she was 40, she has lived with it for nearly half her life (she is now 77).

Earlier this year, she took part in a protest organised by the charity against the decision to cut the provision of a specialist nurse in west London and has worked closely with Parkinson’s UK to put pressure on politicians.

That was in January, before Mr Johnson was prime minister, and there was no intervention to stop her then!

And the issue Mr Johnson appears to have acted to suppress is extremely serious.

Patients with Parkinson’s who fail to receive the appropriate medicine on time while in hospital, often while being treated for unrelated illnesses, can find themselves left unable to talk or walk.

It seems that Mr Johnson’s policies make such a fate increasingly likely for people living with Parkinson’s.

And now it seems he is denying his own mother a voice to protest against it.

What a vile excuse for a human being, let alone a son.

Source: Boris Johnson’s mother exits Parkinson’s campaign after No 10 intervention | Politics | The Guardian

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What does James Brokenshire have to say about the homeless man who died outside Parliament?

Jamie Leigh, a homeless friend of the man who died, next to a makeshift memorial to him.

While Tories tried to accuse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of saying something he didn’t in Parliament, a drama of a different kind was unfolding just a few metres outside the building – where a homeless man died on the street.

The man, believed to be a 45-year-old Hungarian named Gyula Remef, was said to have taken the street drug Spice, and was also said to have been drinking.

At first sight, this supports the claims of Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, who has said the rise in rough sleeping was due to an increase in the number of non-UK nationals on the streets and the spread of psychoactive drugs like Spice, along with factors including family breakup.

But what put this man on the streets? He clearly didn’t come to the UK intending to die on the ground outside Parliament, so why did it happen? Mr Brokenshire’s comment fails to address the principle contributing factor.

And it is clear that, if he took Spice, he took it after he had become homeless; we have no evidence to show it contributed toward making him a rough sleeper.

But this is a man who had a job – he was working as a kitchen assistant at Charing Cross Station but was still unable to afford a home.

Doesn’t that suggest that he was a victim of the Tory wage squeeze that has been going on since 2010?

Doesn’t it also suggest that support for landlords, who overcharge for dwellings that are unfit for human habitation, is wrong-headed?

So what are the real reasons this man died on the street outside Parliament, so far from his homeland and (allegedly) inebriated on drugs?

What is Mr Brokenshire hiding with his supercilious claims?

The contrast between the drama outside Parliament and the farce within has been hammered home by comments on the social media:

The consensus is that the Conservative government – including Mr Brokenshire, due to the nature of his remarks – is insulated from reality and has no sense of proportion due to the fact that it is full of people who are… well… stupid:

Worst of all is the fact that the death of this man won’t even make a difference:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1075552377535651840

Has Mr Brokenshire bothered to ask any questions about this, at all? Has he considered examining the circumstances that brought this man to an untimely end outside the Mother of all Parliaments? Has he checked whether the death corroborates his claims or disproves them?

No chance!

He’ll just say, “Immigrant – check. Drugs – check. Proves I’m right.”

Hateful.

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Immigration and drug addiction caused huge rise in homelessness, according to Tory minister’s LIES

Is James Brokenshire an imbecile, or does he think we are?

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said the increase in homelessness since the Conservatives slithered into office in 2010 is not the result of government policy but is being driven by factors including the spread of psychoactive drugs such as spice, growth in non-UK nationals on the streets and family breakdown.

Oh, really?

Personally, I would have said it was due to income changes that made it impossible for renters to pay their landlords or for homeowners to keep up with their mortgage repayments and I would have said this was the result of policies including, but not limited to:

The Tory Bedroom Tax.

The Tory Universal Credit.

The Tory freeze (late a one per cent limit) on annual public sector pay increases.

The Tory squeeze on wages that forced them to plummet during the first half of the current decade.

Tory support for landlords that means they can force people to pay huge rents for accommodation that is unfit for human habitation.

And the electorate knows this.

Look at the responses to his claim:

Oh, and the Tory plan to eliminate homelessness by 2027? It requires the death of anybody who is homeless.

Labour’s John Healey puts the real reasons for the rise in homelessness in a nutshell in the following clip:

And Labour has a plan to help victims of Tory policies who end up sleeping rough:

“Oh, but we can’t support that, can we? It comes from that Jeremy Corbyn person and he’s a horrible Communist! All the newspapers and TV channels say it so it must be true, right?”

There’s a simple answer to the kind of person who says that – or anything similar to it.

Just point out that many of the people who are now sleeping rough were also persuaded to vote Conservative, in order to avoid the Labour policies that would have helped them avoid their current predicament.

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Tories gag drug companies to stop them admitting no-deal Brexit will seriously harm the UK – and their own electability

Companies must sign non-disclosure clauses “to prevent leaks that could weaken the government’s negotiating ability”.

It isn’t often that I agree with Keir Starmer these days, but he’s right on the money here:

The fact that the Tories are asking firms to sign non-disclosure agreements is tacit confirmation – not only that a no-deal Brexit is now likely, but that it will also cause an incalculable amount of harm to the UK economy.

This leads us inexorably to the other reason an NDA would be demanded; the information the Tories would provide to company representatives must be so damning that they think it will seriously harm not just the economy but their party’s electability.

The Conservatives know that they are responsible. Not only did they trigger the referendum that led to this point, they made sure no effort was made to explain what Brexit would mean in the run-up to the vote, and they have squabbled among themselves like children rather than acting in the interests of the country after it.

But they want to hide this from the general public.

So they are forcing gagging orders on anybody they think might give the game away.

With less than five months to go before we sever our ties with our greatest trading partner, the UK is on the brink of Conservative-created catastrophe.

Drug companies are being told to sign gagging clauses before discussing contingency plans for a chaotic no-deal Brexit with the government.

The Department for Health and Social Care has asked drug companies as well as bodies representing the pharmaceutical industry to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) so that officials can talk to them “in confidence” and ensure that “any requests of them are clear, appropriate and deliverable”.

Labour accused the government of silencing the health sector. After last week’s revelations about the retail magnate Sir Philip Green’s use of NDAs, Theresa May vowed to crack down on employers who are “using them unethically” and to “improve the regulation around NDAs”, although the prime minister did not condemn the use of gagging clauses altogether.

Source: Drug companies gagged over no-deal talks | News | The Times

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This charity chief broke the Tory gagging order on the effect of Universal Credit. Her words are heartbreaking – and infuriating

The lady in the video below is Ellie Waugh, chief executive of the charity Humanity Torbay, which aims to help the vulnerable secure homes, jobs and training.

Part of that mission has involved working with the Conservative government – but this has come with strings attached, including a demand not to criticise Tory policies such as Universal Credit on pain of losing grant aid.

Ms Waugh has chosen to speak out despite these threats because she thinks the public needs to know how bad the situation is.

Her statement is clear: “It is absolutely awful out there.”

Anyone who is not heartbroken by her message and infuriated at the Conservative government for making it necessary, and for creating the situation that made it necessary, should seriously consider trying to find their own humanity.

Please share the clip. People need to see it.

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