Tag Archives: England

Why is the Bank of England trying to stop us spending when we’re already doing that?

The Bank of England: it seems, behind this imposing facade, there lurks a circus complete with clowns.

It seems the economists at the Bank of England don’t have much of a clue.

They say they have raised interest rates to make it more expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow, so people start spending less, helping cool demand for goods and services and, in turn, slowing the pace of price rises; it’s a bid to curb inflation.

But people are already reining in their spending, because of inflation!

So the interest rate increase is pointless. Right?

Furthermore, as people are choosing to save (where they can), rather than spend, the growth of the economy is slowing – which is what the interest rate rise aims to do anyway. So it isn’t needed.

In fact, it may throw the economy into reverse, sending us into a recession.

And economists have warned that increases in interest rates may have little effect given rising global oil and gas prices, over which domestic changes can have little effect.

So there seems to be only one possible reason for the Bank’s decision:

Insanity.

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Interest rates may rise by a quarter of a per cent. Don’t panic!

The Bank of England: it’s raising interest rates in what looks like another bonus for the super-rich – and penalty for the rest of us.

Yes, it seems interest rates are set to rise to their highest point in 13 years but for those of us with mortgages and loans to pay, it’s only likely to go up to one per cent.

It’s potentially good news for those of us with savings – and remember that such people are expected to use their savings to smooth over the cost-of-living increases that are being forced on us by Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak – because it means we’ll have higher interest payments.

That’s if our savings last long enough for any interest to be recorded, of course. Otherwise it’s just another bonus for the super-rich.

The Bank of England is expected to increase its base interest rate to the highest level in 13 years in a bid to tackle inflation.

It is predicted to rise to 1% amid soaring food, energy and fuel prices that saw inflation hit a 30-year high of 7% in March.

Markets expect the bank rate to hit 1.25% later this year, going up to 1.5% by mid-2023.

There’s no explanation in the Sky News report (quoted above) of exactly how increasing interest rates will tackle inflation, so This Writer will believe it when I see it happen.

Source: Bank of England expected to raise interest rate to 13-year high to tackle inflation

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Why did Tory MPs laugh when Chris Bryant RIGHTLY mocked their intelligence?

Led by a donkey: can anybody really blame the Tories for lacking intelligence when this is the quality of their leader (I know it’s a satirical image but it makes the point very well, doesn’t it)?

It seems some Tories aren’t even intelligent enough to recognise themselves.

This has been a bad week for anybody who wants to tell us our Conservative MPs have two brain cells to rub together.

Tory MP Tom Hunt tried to tell us Rwanda was in Europe on the BBC’s Politics Live. In fact, the dictatorship to which Priti Patel wishes to ship people arriving in the UK illegally is in east Africa.

His colleague Ben Bradley, after the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the government’s Rwanda policy, said: “We separated the church from the state a long time ago … Commenting on government policy is not Justin Welby’s job”. Perhaps he should have been told the Church of England is Britain’s state church and its Archbishops sit in the House of Lords.

And many Tory MPs have tried to convince us that it would be unthinkable to get rid of prime minister Boris Johnson while a war is happening (even though the UK isn’t even a participant in the Ukraine-Russia conflict) – despite the fact that we have done exactly that, many times in the past.

So Chris Bryant, for all his many other faults, should have been cheered when he made his comments in the House of Commons on Thursday (April 21).

He said:

“Can we have a debate on geography and history lessons? I gather that one Conservative Member has recently stated that we are sending refugees to a ‘safe European country, Rwanda’.

“Another Conservative MP said that the Church of England was disestablished many years ago, which will come as news to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Her Majesty.

“Many Government ministers have also said that we cannot change the prime minister during a time of war, despite the fact that we changed prime minister four times during the Afghan war, once during the first world war, the second world war and the second Boer war, and twice during the Peninsular war. Can we have a debate on the intelligence of Conservative Members?

Here’s a video clip of the moment, for posterity:

Much of the laughter came from Opposition benches but the Conservatives joined in.

But perhaps the most laughable moment was when Mark Harper, Leader of the House, suggested that Bryant should try to raise the quality of his debating.

Tories need to learn that, before criticising others, they need to work on improving themselves.

Source: MPs laugh as Labour MP calls for a debate into the intelligence of Conservative MPs

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Free parking for hospital staff to end as Javid piles insult onto the injury of NHS pay

NHS staff, already insulted by derisory pay rises inflicted on them by the Tory government, are being told they’ll have to find the cash to pay for their parking places again from Friday.*

And the cost is likely to be anything up to three times what they were paying before, because of a Tory manifesto promise from 2019.

The government pledged in their December 2019 election manifesto to provide free parking for some patients and staff on their night shifts.

We know the move has prompted at least one privately run car parking company to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

At the time, I questioned why hospital car parks are run for profit by private companies in the first place. Our health care is supposed to be free at the point of use so I asked, is our useless Tory government getting around that by charging us all to get there?

The question was rhetorical; the short answer is yes.

But neither Sajid Javid nor Boris Johnson, the apparent architect of the policy, appear to have thought it through.

With hospital car park firms passing their losses from free parking on to those who still have to pay, it will soon cost staff too much to work there. Or is that the plan?

*That’s if they work in England, of course. Those of us in Wales (for example) get free hospital parking because healthcare here is considered to be a service to the public, not an opportunity to fleece us.

Source: Free parking for hospital staff to end on Friday – Javid | Evening Standard

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#Russia stripped of hosting #ChampionsLeague final. So now footballers CAN be in politics?

Marcus Rashford: Natalie Elphicke said he should have stayed out of politics after he missed a penalty in the Euro 2020 final last year. Now Elphicke’s fellow Tory Liz Truss wants footballers to be involved in politics after all. These Tory hypocrites just want the rest of us to do whatever suits THEM best, at any particular moment.

Confused?

It’s a little more than seven months since Tory MP Natalie Elphicke said footballer Marcus Rashford should concentrate on his “day job” rather than become involved in politics.

She was attacking Rashford after his campaigning ensured that the poorest schoolchildren could avoid malnutrition by forcing the government to continue providing free school meals to them during school holidays at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

After he missed a vital penalty in the Euro 2020 final, she said he should have focused on his football rather than “playing politics”.

Elphicke later apologised – after her comment became a matter of public knowledge.

It later transpired that Elphicke herself wasn’t entirely focused on her own “day job”, after it was revealed that she earned almost £100 per hour as chair of the New Homes Quality Board.

How opinions change when it’s expedient for them to do so!

Here’s Elphicke’s fellow Tory – Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – urging English footballers to become political and boycott the Champions League Final in St Petersburg, Russia, if their team manages to win a place in that match:

Her comments were motivated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, of course.

But they expose yet another vein of hypocrisy in the words of UK politicians: they want footballers out of politics when it disadvantages them, but then they want footballers to make political decisions when it suits their own purposes.

People like Liz Truss want to have their cake and eat it – all the time.

As it happens, This Writer would have supported a boycott of the Champions League final, if it was to take place in St Petersburg. But UEFA has stripped Russia of that privilege and the even will take place in Paris.

My own stance is not hypocritical, of course: I have always supported Marcus Rashford’s intervention in politics.

If more of us took active control of our political lives, we might have fewer hypocrites like Truss and Elphicke running our country into the ground.

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#Drakeford attacks England as #globaloutlier on #Covid19 because of #Tories

Mark Drakeford: Wales’ First Minister has previously described the Tory government in Westminster as “utterly shambolic”.

This is a story about the daftness of the Tory press and the way they frame their questions to try to make Boris Johnson’s government look remotely reasonable when it is not.

That’s the reason Mark Drakeford, leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister of Wales, was challenged to defend his decision to continue with health protection measures – not restrictions – when England is not.

He deftly turned the question on its head:

He said – rightly – that England is not taking action to protect its population.

“The real question is, why is England such a global outlier,” he said.

“In England, we have a government that is politically paralysed with a prime minister [who] is unable to secure an agreement through his cabinet to take the actions that his advisors have been telling him ought to have been taken,” he said.

“Even if he could get his cabinet to agree them, he can’t get his MPs to agree them either.”

And today (January 8), even the official UK statistic for the number of Covid-19-related deaths (which many of us believe to be gerrymandered to appear lower than the actual amount) exceeded 150,000 deaths.

The UK is the seventh country in the world to pass 150,000 deaths, Of the other six – the USA, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru – only Peru has a smaller population, putting the lie once again to Boris Johnson’s claims that the UK’s measures to defeat Covid-19 are leading the world.

Worse, the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test is accelerating – up 38.3 per cent on the previous week.

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Failure of NHS privatisation is proved by harm to patients kept waiting in ambulances

Waiting: ambulances outside a hospital. Strange how privatisation was supposed to improve healthcare but, since it was brought in, the NHS has only deteriorated.

A report for ambulance service chiefs shows that around 160,000 hospital patients in England are being harmed every year because of delays getting them out of ambulances.

As many as 12,000 – or one in 10, could be suffering severe harm like a cardiac arrest, loss of a limb or brain damage.

The ambulance drivers aren’t at fault.

The problem lies with the UK’s Conservative government that has de-funded the National Health Service to a critical degree, while also inviting profit-making private firms to provide some services – taking even more money from healthcare provision.

In a way, we should be grateful for the collapse of healthcare provision since 2010, under the Conservatives.

The delays that have kept patients waiting in ambulances – and thereby risking serious injury – have only become seriously harmful since the Tories brought private providers into the English health service.

They demonstrate more clearly than words that the introduction of those private providers into NHS England has been a disaster for patient care.

And they show that the best possible strategy for the future of healthcare in England is to ban private profit-grubbers from the NHS – forever. Otherwise this nightmare will only get worse.

Source: Ambulance delays outside hospitals are harming 160,000 patients, leaked report warns | The Independent

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Inflation is expected to hit four per cent – but is it really all down to Covid?

The Bank of England: don’t believe its claims about inflation.

The Bank of England reckons inflation will hit four per cent – twice as much as the target level – as the UK recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

But do we believe the claim?

The Bank of England says the increase reflects “higher energy and goods prices, which in turn reflect rising commodity prices, transportation bottlenecks, constraints on production and strong global demand for goods”.

I can understand that demand across the world for goods that have been under-produced because of pandemic-related lockdowns will push prices up.

But energy prices – in the UK at least – are increasing at a time when the companies are recording their highest-ever profits, most of which go to bosses and shareholders. Consumers are being bled dry by greed.

And what about the inflationary effect of all the money Boris Johnson has been spaffing off to his Tory friends on the pretext of awarding Covid-related equipment supply contracts, for which he’s had nothing in return?

Oh – and flags. Don’t forget the fortune the Tories have paid for flags:

The point about wages is well made. Back when This Writer was a sprog, Tories used to complain that pay increases pushed up inflation. Now it is happening after a period of prolonged pay depression.

I understand teachers’ pay has fallen at about the same rate as that of nurses.

The message is clear: any increase in inflation is due to Tory economic mismanagement. But they’ll make you suffer for it.

So if you have been able to save up some money – as many of us are said to have done while lockdowns kept us indoors, then it’s a good time to invest in solar panels for your roof. They will provide all your electricity needs and you will be able to sell some of it back to the grid.

Apart from that, keep your money in the back and enjoy the interest rate boost when it comes. Considering what the Tory government will do to you in the future, you’ll need it!

Source: Bank of England warns inflation will hit 4% this year but holds interest rates | Interest rates | The Guardian

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Amanda Pritchard selected as next boss of NHS England

The new NHS England chief executive: Amanda Pritchard.

Is it good that Amanda Pritchard has been selected to run NHS England, replacing Simon Stevens?

I don’t know, but my first reaction was that she has to be better than Dido Harding (who was discounted earlier in the selection process)!

She’ll be the first female boss since the NHS was created in 1948, which is a boost for sex equality.

But she’s also a graduate of Oxford University, which suggests a possible bias towards Toryism. And she had to pass interviews with representatives of 10 Downing Street, the Treasury and Cabinet Office (Tory), NHS England chair Lord David Prior (Tory) and other NHS England board members (loyalties unknown).

Is it possible that she joined the service 25 years ago, just to undermine it?

Or will she be forced to, whether she wants to or not?

Source: Amanda Pritchard on course to be next NHS England chief executive | News | Health Service Journal

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Johnson lied again: England team reception at Downing Street was cancelled because they didn’t want to meet him

This is a great find by Skwawkbox:

The so-called ‘msm’ reported earlier today that Boris Johnson had cancelled a Downing Street reception for the England team, after the team narrowly lost the European final on Sunday, in a ‘snub’ to the players.

However, it is now emerging that the event was cancelled because England’s players refused to attend, in solidarity with black team-mates because Johnson and his front bench had fanned the flames of racism toward Marcus Rashford and other black players.

So Johnson lied again.

He led his tame client journalists to report that he was snubbing the England team when in fact, they were snubbing him.

Neither position is tenable for a prime minister who spent PMQs today (July 14) trying to claim that his government was leading the fight against racism:

  • If he snubbed the England team, then it was because of members’ stand against racism so he is racist; and
  • If the England team snubbed him, then it was because they agreed with team member Tyrone Mings that his Home Secretary Priti Patel ‘stoked’ racism – and that, by supporting her, Johnson does the same – so he is racist.

So the prime minister has boxed himself into his own racist pigeonhole.

Perhaps he’d like another fridge to hide in?

Source: Breaking: England team’s Downing St reception was ‘cancelled’ because players refused to meet Johnson – SKWAWKBOX