Tag Archives: evidence

Johnson’s ‘herd immunity’ is a nonsense: Covid-19 antibodies fade within months

Boris Johnson’s entire strategy for coping with Covid-19 has been proved to be useless  – according to the science.

Oh yes, yes – Johnson appeared to give up on ‘herd immunity’ when he put the UK into lockdown in March.

But for lockdown to succeed, we all had to stay away from possible infection until the virus had no way of reproducing and passing from person to person.

Johnson’s strategy ensured that there were always people circulating who could be exposed to it. Think about the NHS staff with their inadequate PPE (personal protection equipment), or care staff who carried the disease between homes after the Tories ordered infected residents to be sent there.

And Johnson has kept infection rates up by easing the lockdown for sectors of the community – schools, for example. Pub-goers. Commuters…

All of it was for nothing if he thought he was immunising the nation incrementally because it turns out that Covid-19 antibodies don’t last.

Like the common cold, it seems it will be possible for the virus to infect us all on a regular basis.

That’s the finding of research by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust – and also by the Spanish Ministry of Health.

So the easing of lockdown before Covid-19 was eradicated has done nothing but prolong the crisis in the UK; Johnson would have been better-advised to make the lockdown much harder (and he probably was). It would have been for a much shorter period.

But it seems unlikely this bull-in-a-China-shop prime minister will acknowledge his own stupidity and change course.

All in all, it suggests that the conspiracy theorists are right and he’s simply using the pandemic as a way of culling the population.

Given the evidence, why else would anyone follow a plan as ridiculous as Johnson’s?

Source: Immunity to Covid-19 could be lost in months, UK study suggests | World news | The Guardian

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MPs launch inquiry into Tory government handling of Covid-19 crisis

On the same day families of those who died (needlessly?) of Covid-19 told Boris Johnson he could not hide from them, MPs said they were starting to take evidence in their own Coronavirus inquiry.

I would be leaping to sing their praises, but – unlike the Graun – I’m not convinced an inquiry by MPs is entirely independent, and I’ll be keen to find out if anybody offering evidence is turned away.

Johnson is under pressure to order an independent inquiry after 153,000 people signed an online petition.

Obviously these are people with reason to believe the Tory response fell short of the mark (as we all should, in This Writer’s opinion).

Organisers’ complaints can be read in this Metro article, and I would certainly hope that some of them will be asked to submit evidence to the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Coronavirus.

Families of those who have died will be able to give submissions in writing, via video call, or in person – if they are invited.

It isn’t a judge-led inquiry and its findings won’t have the weight of one; it’s clear from the comments in the Guardian article that some of the APPG members have already made up their minds.

But it’s a start.

Frontline workers and relatives of people who have died are invited to visit the March for Change website where they may make submissions via a dedicated portal, anonymously if they wish.

Professionals and trade bodies can submit evidence via email.

I reckon it’s worth a shot.

Source: Cross-party group of MPs to lead first UK coronavirus inquiry | Politics | The Guardian

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Website showing Israelis teaching the choke hold that killed George Floyd is changed to remove evidence. Why?

Doesn’t this strike you as odd?

Late last month, Keir Starmer sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow Education Secretary after she tweeted a link to an interview with actor Maxine Peake which he claimed featured an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.

It seems the Labour leader believes it is anti-Semitic to state that Israeli military/police personnel taught members of the US police the choke hold that was misused to kill George Floyd, triggering a wave of protest across the world.

Last week, This Site found and published details of an organisation, run by Israeli ex-forces personnel, that provides exactly that service: the Israeli Tactical School.

A representative of the organisation even commented on the article to say that George Floyd’s death was caused by mis-application of the hold taught by its representatives.

And this is perfectly reasonable. There has never been any implication that Israelis trained US police officers specifically to kill black people.

Nevertheless, it seems the site has been altered since my piece was published, to remove evidence that Israeli Tactical teaches this particular hold.

According to Skwawkbox,

The content of the law enforcement page was deleted in just the last few days, with the amendment dating to after the Long-Bailey sacking. It is now blank.

The about page has been radically amended – with the ‘knee on neck’ image removed and the text altered.

The question is: Why?

Screenshots of the original pages are available – Skwawkbox publishes them in its article – and This Writer has taken copies of them. The evidence showing not only that Israeli personnel taught this technique but that it is an established technique used in Israel is clear.

So why even try to hide it? Doesn’t that just make the technique, the teaching and the organisation look suspicious?

Source: The newly-deleted web page that seems to exonerate Long-Bailey and Peake – SKWAWKBOX

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Video evidence shows Israelis teaching the choke hold that killed George Floyd

This is awkward – for everybody like Keir Starmer who insisted that it was anti-Semitic to claim that members of the Israeli police/military taught US police the choke hold that killed George Floyd.

The image above is from a promotional video by an organisation calling itself Israeli Tactical. This firm has been providing training in the United States since at least 2013, when its Twitter account was set up by one Tomer Israeli who, according to Israeli Tactical’s website, is “A veteran captain of the Israeli Defense Forces with over 20 years of both combat and instructional experience… [who] founded Israeli Tactical School as a premium security and counter-terror training organization that would meet the growing demand for a higher level of protective services”.

The website states: “Since the inception of Israeli Tactical School, Mr. Israeli has had the privilege of training law enforcement officers from over 45 agencies, including U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), U.S. Army Rangers, Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Baltimore Police Department (BPD), Pentagon Police, Howard County Police Department (HCPD), Maryland State Police (MDSP), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), Montgomery County Police Department (MPD), D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPDC), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), U.S. Delta Force, Swiss Army Delta Force (G7), French SWAT (RAID), Shanghai SWAT (SPU – unit training), Royal Thai Commando Unit (CSD – unit training), and many more.”

Here’s some more information:

I’m sure some nitpickers will want to argue but it seems clear that Israeli experts do provide this training.

I think Keir Starmer and his cronies have a lot of apologising to do.

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Johnson’s smile shows he hasn’t seen evidence that allegations against Cummings are false

 

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. You can see it again in the clip of him answer Meg Hillier’s question about evidence showing allegations against Dominic Cummings are false.

This Site’s story about “duper’s delight” seems to be enjoying something of a revival at the moment.

It was a piece pointing out a certain kind of smile made by Boris Johnson when he’s telling a lie.

I was puzzled as to the reason for the piece’s renewed popularity. Then I saw the following exchange and all was explained:

He hasn’t seen any evidence proving allegations against Dominic Cummings are false.

He hasn’t got public servants working flat-out on more important things.

He just wants us to forget about the scandal. It’s our civic duty to remind him about it at every opportunity.

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Did these omissions and vaguenesses influence the Johnson-Arcuri investigation whitewash the prime minister?

Johnson and Arcuri: the IOPC report suggests information was deleted or delayed to clear the prime minister of any wrong-doing.

Records were deleted or never existed, information was delayed and officers revealed they were influenced to act a particular way in the matter of Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, a police report has revealed.

Is this how the investigation into that relationship has been made to say there was no impropriety?

Why were records relating to this case deleted – what did they cover and when were the deletions made? We may never know, but the questions should be enough to raise suspicion.

Why were some records never made? The report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct remarks on them so it is reasonable to believe that they were necessary. Who was responsible for making these records? What information would they have provided?

Why did the third parties mentioned in the report delay providing their information? What influenced them to inconvenience the investigation and would their information have been different, had they not done so? What was the subject of the information they had been asked to provide?

Possibly most damning is the statement that officers working for Johnson and making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions “thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making”.

Why would they have thought that? Did Johnson, or one of his aides, tell them this was the case and/or that they should give her the money/include her in the junkets?

Because that is how this looks!

The IOPC review took longer than expected due to the poor quality of information provided in the initial referral, a lack of records and delays in third parties providing information. Some of the records which would have assisted the review either never existed or have been deleted.

Director General Michael Lockwood said:“While there was no evidence that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions,  there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making. “

Our review established there was a close association between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri and there may have been an intimate relationship.

The GLA code of conduct which applied at the time meant that, even if the relationship was intimate, Mr Johnson had no obligation to include Ms Arcuri’s business interests in his own register of interests.

However, under the broader Nolan Principles of Public Life, our review suggests it would have been wise for Mr Johnson to have declared this as a conflict of interest, and a failure to do so could have constituted a breach of these broader principles contained within the GLA 2012 Code of Conduct.  As this does not amount to a potential criminal offence, this is now a matter for the GLA to consider.

You see, the report states that

The IOPC’s Operation Lansdowne review found no evidence indicating Mr Johnson influenced the payment of any sponsorship monies to Ms Arcuri or that he influenced or played an active part in securing her participation in trade missions.

That may be so – but if this is because evidence was destroyed and witnesses were vague, that is not enough to prove any kind of innocence.

The report ends with a list of recommendations for the Greater London Authority and London & Partners to improve their policies, procedures and record-keeping.

This would not have been necessary, had these organisations been able to provide full and frank answers to the inquiry’s questions.

It seems clear that – as This Writer stated in a previous article – the investigation has been an undeserved whitewash.

Source: No criminal investigation of Boris Johnson for misconduct in public office while Mayor of London | Independent Office for Police Conduct

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Calls for independent inquiry into Patel’s behaviour as evidence mounts up

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

The Cabinet Office has launched an inquiry into whether Priti Patel has breached the ministerial code by bullying civil servants under her.

But MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are demanding an independent inquisition as more evidence against her comes to light.

For example, Sir Philip Rutnam’s claim that he was offered a “financial settlement” to keep him from speaking out about the “vicious and orchestrated” plot against him may be validated by claims that another civil servant was driven to a suicide attempt by Ms Patel’s behaviour towards her at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The person involved apparently was shouted at, told to get lost and dismissed from her job in the minister’s private office because Ms Patel “doesn’t like your face”, according to legal correspondence seen by the BBC. She took an overdose of prescription medicines and had to be taken home by her husband, where she attempted to kill herself, the legal correspondence said.

The victim later brought a complaint for unfair dismissal, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, but the DWP hushed it up with a £25,000 settlement without admitting liability.

Worse than this is the claim that Boris Johnson himself has given support to ministers who wish to smear top civil servants.

Dave Penman, head of the senior civil servants union, the FDA, said Johnson and his closest aides have “ripped up the rule book” that ensured the ministers do not attack civil servants.

The allegation means it would be impossible to trust the finding of a Cabinet Office inquiry which could be influenced by Johnson.

Meanwhile the pressure is building against Ms Patel, with calls increasing for her to be suspended as a minister while her behaviour is investigated.

This is a power struggle at the heart of government.

Or so it seems to This Writer.

On one side, we have a civil service staffed by experts on government who know that politics is “the art of the possible” and are bound to advise MPs on how much of their plans are both possible and advisable.

On the other: a rabble of hard-right Tory authoritarians whose belief that their orders should be obeyed – no matter how insane – has been compared with fascism.

You’d better pray that the side of reason wins.

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Riley libel case: You’ll be amazed at what Countdown co-host doesn’t want you to know

This Writer’s legal team has been putting together our defence against Rachel Riley’s claims that I libelled her – and it is full of information she won’t want the public to see.

I’m not referring simply to what we know of her behaviour already – the many ill-informed attacks on Jeremy Corbyn (including an incitement to violence against him) and Noam Chomsky, her own anti-Semitic claim that she didn’t look like a “typical Jew”, likening the Durham Miners’ Gala band to the Ku Klux Klan, defaming a Labour candidate in the general election – it’s a very long list.

I’m referring to her behaviour toward a teenage girl with anxiety problems who dared – how dare she? – to have a different opinion. Some of it is astonishing.

And it will never see the light of day unless you help me get it into court.

I can’t reveal any of it here because it would prejudice the court proceedings – and Ms Riley’s lawyers would take great pleasure in attacking me for making fresh allegations, I feel sure.

Fundraisers have already achieved miracles, raising a huge amount that has already been put to good use fending off Ms Riley’s lawyers so far.

But compiling the defence has been a huge, intensive amount of work. I know because I spent many days over the Festive Season, battling through illness to put much of the raw information together.

Almost all the money that has been raised has been spent. If we don’t get more, we can’t go forward.

It’s as simple as that.

Libel is hugely expensive. From the start, my belief has been that Ms Riley thinks she can use her vastly-greater wealth to crush me and – in effect – buy the result that she wants.

I think her attitude is that the facts can go to Hell – she wants to make me pay.

I know you don’t accept that. Please put some more into the pot so I can keep fighting against this cruel and unnecessary attack.

Here are the details:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I know times are hard and money is tight for everyone – except the likes of Ms Riley.

Please do what you can to support justice.

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New evidence fuels demand for inquest uncovering DWP role in the death of Jodey Whiting

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped.

Remember Jodey Whiting?

She’s the woman who took her own life after the Department for Work and Pensions ignored its own policies for safeguarding benefit claimants no fewer than five times while dealing with her case.

The DWP scorned calls for an independent inquiry into deaths related to its decisions, prompted by Ms Whiting’s death – even after tens of thousands of people signed a petition demanding it.

Now her mother, Joy Dove, has launched a demand for a new inquest, saying the interests of justice demand it after new evidence emerged.

This includes the result of an investigation into the handling of Ms Whiting’s benefits by the DWP and a report from an independent consultant psychiatrist who concluded that the DWP’s failings would probably have had a substantial effect on her mental state.

In her letter to the Attorney General, Ms Dove argued that the manner in which her daughter was treated by the DWP, and in particular the withdrawal of her ESA, caused or materially contributed to her death and, that had this not occurred, her daughter’s death might have been prevented.

Ms Whiting, of Stockton, died on 21 February 2017, aged 42. She was a vulnerable woman with multiple physical and mental health illnesses which left her house-bound, requiring 23 tablets per day and entirely reliant on welfare benefits.

In late 2016 the DWP began to reassess her entitlement to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

She requested a home visit as she rarely left the house due to her health and she made clear that she had “suicidal thoughts a lot of the time and could not cope with work or looking for work”.

Despite this, the DWP decided that she should attend a work capability assessment. She failed to attend so the DWP stopped her fortnightly ESA payments.

With help from her family, Ms Whiting wrote to the DWP explaining the severity of her health conditions and asking for a reconsideration, but this did not happen until after her death.

She also received letters informing her that her housing benefit and council tax benefit would be stopped because they were linked to her ESA.

Just three days after her last ESA payment, Ms Whiting took her own life.

An inquest was held, lasting less than an hour, in which the coroner declined to consider the potential role of the DWP in the death. Ms Whiting’s family were unrepresented and were unaware that they may have been entitled to publicly-funded legal representation.

After the inquest a report by an Independent Case Examiner concluded that the DWP had made multiple significant errors in how it treated Ms Whiting. Some of the failings had not been known to her family, who were horrified to learn how many failings had occurred in the handling of her benefits.

This could be a hugely important case.

Who knows how many other people are now dead who might have lived if the DWP had handled their cases with an ounce of sensitivity?

We may soon find out – but only if the Attorney General grants permission for a new inquest to take place.

Source: Family Of Jodey Whiting Seek Fresh Inquest Into Her Death | Leigh Day

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https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Libel case: the evidence is mounting up – against Rachel Riley

The Royal Court of Justice in London: This is where the preliminary hearing in This Writer’s libel case took place.

Last week’s court hearing provided crucial guidance to the defence against cruel libel accusations by Rachel Riley.

Mr Justice Nicklin said my article had asserted that Ms Riley “has engaged upon, supported and encouraged a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year-old girl, conduct which has also incited her followers to make death threats towards her.”

So I have spent the last week looking up evidence to prove the claims in that sentence.

I have succeeded in that task – in all respects.

But having evidence is not enough.

It must be accepted as factually accurate by a High Court judge.

And to achieve that, I still need the funds to employ my legal team.

Last week’s hearing produced a good result – but it was costly.

To succeed, we need to put a little more in the kitty.

Those of you who have been around since the start will probably know the next bit by heart, but please bear with me – and follow these instructions if you can:

Please consider making a donation yourself via my CrowdJustice page – I know the Festive Season is upon us and cashflow can be difficult at this time, but when you are able, all contributions will be appreciated.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Ms Riley has nothing to gain from this court case – unless she manages to prolong it beyond my ability to pay for my own defence.

I have maintained from the start that this is about wealth subverting justice; that Ms Riley thinks she can drain my funds so I cannot continue – and win by default what she cannot win by argument before a judge.

If you believe in justice – and I know you do – then I hope you can continue to prove her wrong.

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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3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

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