Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Media reporters have DEFINITELY been hiding evidence of #DowningStreetParties. And what else?

Slack by name: if he was a proper reporter, James Slack would have published a story about the Downing Street parties as soon as he went back to work at The Sun. He didn’t – for reasons that, while obvious, are unacceptable.

Well, there it is. There can’t be any doubt that the media have been suppressing evidence of the lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street now, because one of them was for the current deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun – who attended it.

James Slack’s first duty as a news reporter would have been to report that the prime minister was allowing such parties to take place, in contempt of the rules that he had imposed on everybody else.

Reporters have a duty to act in the public interest.

He didn’t – for perfectly understandable but entirely unacceptable reasons: he was at the party on the night of April 16-17, 2021 (it was his leaving party), and he was at the party of May 15 the year before (he appears in the photograph that has been released to the press.

Considering the networks of contacts that all political reporters in Westminster must have, it seems highly unlikely to This Writer that others were kept unaware of it. I doubt the party organisers would have been able to do so and, to be honest, I think it is highly likely that they were invited – especially to an event for somebody who is an industry colleague.

So people like Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston should be asked where they were that night, too. Peston in particular, because of course he worked with Allegra Stratton, the former Downing Street press secretary who resigned after a video clip was publicised showing her laughing about an alleged party there on December 18, 2020.

And we, the public, need to examine their reports now with extreme scepticism.

Slack himself joins Johnson as another two-faced liar who has only apologised because his transgression has been revealed to us. If it had not, then he would have merrily kept it hidden for the rest of his career. Instead, he tells us: “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.” Weasel words.

The other party was for someone described as one of Johnson’s personal photographers. It is alleged that staff were sent out to a nearby shop carrying a suitcase, and brought it back filled with bottles of wine.

The party in the Downing Street basement, with a laptop computer blaring out music from atop a photocopier, is said to have linked up with the event for Slack, continuing until well after midnight.

At the time, England was under “Step Two” restrictions, meaning that people were banned from socialising indoors with those from other households. Indoor gatherings and gatherings of more than six people outdoors were unlawful, unless “reasonably necessary for work”. There were also fixed penalty notices of up to £10,000 for individuals organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

This information has been released to us now because somebody has decided it is to their advantage. I would suggest that this person would be somebody in the Conservative government who sees an opportunity to grab power from Johnson.

We certainly should not believe that anybody is innocent of such machinations if they speak up in support of Johnson now; it is entirely possible for a person to be supportive in public while stabbing somebody in the back privately.

The current revelations are doubly offensive to the Queen, of course. Firstly, there is the clear offence that two events, in which people partied, laughed and joked in close contact with each other, took place at a time of national mourning, the day before she had to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Secondly, though, this is the second time prime minister Boris Johnson has made a fool of her; the first was when he persuaded her to prorogue Parliament on the basis of a lie he told so he could bypass an obstacle to his (now revealed to be entirely useless) Brexit deal.

If she doesn’t absolutely hate Johnson by now, she must be superhuman indeed.

It is said that Johnson was not at the parties of April 2021 – but you’d have to be a fool to think he wasn’t aware of them, after all the others.

Today’s revelations bring the current total number of parties being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray – who is, let’s remember, an employee of Boris Johnson and not an independent investigator at all – to 12.

One has to question whether there is another strategy here – to leak new information about parties out at intervals, so Ms Gray’s investigation can never be concluded.

To those of us watching from outside, it’s beginning to seem as though Downing Street was a party venue from the moment the first lockdown began, right up to last Christmas, at the very least.

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A nation reacts to the death of the Duke – with dazzling hypocrisy

Prince Philip: whatever we may have thought of him, the hypocrisy with which his death is being handled is due to the government and the media.

Is anyone else absolutely sickened by the hypocrisy of the UK Establishment following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, or am I the only one?

I have already mentioned on Twitter the fact that Prince Philip, as (originally) a refugee who came to the UK from (originally) Greece, enjoyed an entirely different reception from other people who have came here from a foreign country under similar circumstances but with less impressive pedigrees.

I found it crushingly depressing that the nation was expected to stop everything to mourn the death of a man from such a background who had enjoyed extreme privilege, while at the same time the government was reopening a concentration camp for people whose stories aren’t significantly different from his.

Not only that, but I know I’m not the only one to notice that people have congregated in their thousands in central London to pay their respects – many of them disregarding social distancing rules completely…

… and the police have ignored it altogether.

Doubtless some of you will suggest that I shouldn’t be complaining; it’s better than having thousands of people clubbed over the head like seals, right?

But there’s a political message here: people mourning the passing of one of their “betters” is fine; protesting against the removal of their own rights will be met with blunt force.

Finally, isn’t it strange that all the TV channels and other mainstream media shut down all their programming in favour of solemn coverage of the passing of a man who had been the butt of ridicule for many years due to offensive comments he made, apparently without thinking.

These included telling European students in China, “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go slit-eyed.”

He allegedly insulted deaf children at a pop concert in Wales by saying, “No wonder you are deaf listening to this row.”

And when he and the Queen met Stephen Menary, an army cadet blinded by a Real IRA bomb, and the Queen enquired how much sight Mr Menary retained, he said: “Not a lot, judging by the tie he’s wearing.”

These and other incidents have been met with denials – either claims that they didn’t happen, that his intentions were misinterpreted, or that there was no harm done.

But it is hypocritical for the same media that published such reports – and criticism – to lead the solemnities at the time of his death.

It is hypocritical for the police to treat mourners who ignore social distancing rules differently from protesters.

And it is highly hypocritical for the Establishment to demand that we pay him the kind of respects we’ve seen, when people whose only difference from him is an accident of birth are being treated with no respect at all.

Source: Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace announces – BBC News

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Tory Britain: Homeless children are born on the street – while privileged pensioners have helicopter rides from hospital

In the shadows: the plight of homeless people is overlooked – unless highlighted by the media. Meanwhile others are given every luxury due to nothing more than an accident of birth.

This is the truth of Boris Johnson’s brave new Britain: the public purse can pay for the privileged to have helicopter rides home from hospital, while a homeless woman didn’t qualify for hospital treatment until after she had given birth on a cold Cambridge street.

The woman, aged around 30, gave birth to twins who were around 11 weeks premature on Sidney Street, outside Trinity College, Cambridge on Monday.

Is this the kind of medical care the fifth-largest economy in the world provides to its people?

How did this woman become homeless? Was she unable to pay the bills because Tory wage or benefit policies are so prejudiced against the poor (which means most of us)?

Homelessness has rocketed under Conservative rule – and this can only be because Conservative policies dictated that it should happen.

And a homeless person, living on the streets, dies every 19 hours.

One would expect that pregnant women who are homeless would be particularly vulnerable to an early death – especially those in desperate need of medical help because they were giving birth.

Death during childbirth used to be tragically common, after all.

No doubt this would make the Tories unbearably happy; it’s one less “useless eater”.

I read also, today, that the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed a helicopter ride home after a four-day stay in hospital due to a “pre-existing condition”.

You see how it is?

The privileged people in our society get to have the very best – a place in hospital whenever they need or want it, and the extravagance of a trip home by helicopter – whenever they want it.

And all on state benefits. The Duke is on the Civil List, remember – and that is a state-funded benefit.

Why aren’t the rest of us afforded the same treatment – why wasn’t the homeless mother offered it, if the cash is available to pay for him to receive such treatment?

I’m not begrudging him the treatment; I’m questioning a government that is happy to fund such extravagance for him, while begrudging even a minimum of treatment for her.

It all could have been different, too. Labour would have provided a home and dignity to the woman, and she would have been able to enjoy appropriate hospital treatment.

But 14 million voted Tory. A child becomes homeless every eight minutes (including the two who were born homeless on Monday).

And the benefits we enjoy depend on the identity of our parents (or spouses) rather than being rights enjoyed by everyone.

That’s something to think about, over Christmas.

Source: Homeless woman gives birth to premature twins on a cold street outside Cambridge University college – Cambridgeshire Live

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I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

This is the film that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green describes as “monstrously unfair”. Clearly, the people of Edinburgh disagree – strongly.

Told by a panel of MSPs at Holyrood that the Work Capability Assessment “is sending people to go and commit suicide”, Mr Green said: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate.”

Here’s some evidence – read the story on the right:

161112-messages2
Confront Damian Green with that and he’d probably try to tell you that person was making it up.

That’s the problem with his kind.

Like Nazis, they think if they repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

The depth of feeling evoked by I, Daniel Blake, is perhaps best summed up by an amazing collection of notes pinned to the wall of an Edinburgh cinema.

The display at the Cameo, penned by people who have suffered similar experiences to the movie’s main character, left screenwriter Paul Laverty stunned.

He said: “I had no idea of the impact. Staff at the Cameo had been stunned by the reaction – it was an example of beautiful empathy.” One message in the foyer reads: “I am less afraid of dying than of a WCA.”

Paul added: “To be more scared of an assessment than dying? I suppose dying you just have to accept. But the humiliation of going through this test – there is something so cruel about it.

“The Government have changed their rhetoric but have not budged one inch and last week they announced the new benefit cap.”

Source: I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers at Edinburgh cinema : Daily Record. – DWPExamination.

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