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Humiliating: Kay Burley of Sky News interviews an empty chair while Tory chairman James Cleverly cowers 15ft away.
James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s chairman, had been due to appear on Sky News to explain to presenter Kay Burley what was going wrong with the Tory election campaign yesterday morning (November 6).
But he chickened out at the last minute and Ms Burley ended up interviewing an empty chair while he stood 15 feet away:
I’m told Ms Burley may face investigation over the interview – although I’m not entirely sure why.
Mr Cleverly and his defenders have tried to explain away his apparent cowardice by claiming he was carrying out a Talk Radio interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer – but adverts by the radio station at the time show that he was not scheduled to appear until half an hour after the Burley interview.
This Writer has stated many times that the Conservatives aren’t clever enough for the social media age.
They still think they can lie to us and we won’t find out.
Those days are long gone and Mr Cleverly has been exposed. He is untrustworthy and the people of his constituency – Braintree – should dump him.
Bad omens: Damian Green’s defenders have already caused a crisis over data protection breaches in Westminster; now they are offering an excuse to everybody who has ever been sacked for having porn on their office computer.
How kind of Damian Green to provide office workers across the world with an excuse if pornography is found on their computers!
How unfortunate for employers who have sacked who-knows-how-many office workers for having downloaded porn – and may now face multiple “unfair dismissal” claims from disgruntled ex-employees with an axe to grind!
If Tory ‘reforms’ of legal aid make it prohibitive for people to challenge their employers singly, This Writer can heartily recommend getting together with others to mount joint legal challenges.
According to the Torygraph, Mr Green has provided evidence from Deputy Commons Speaker Eleanor Laing “showing porn has been found on other parliamentary computers without being downloaded or watched by staff”.
Politics Homeamplifies: “He has passed on an email from deputy speaker of the House of Commons Eleanor Laing to Ms Gray, explaining that a member of her staff also found porn on her computer without having accessed or watched it.”
How did it get there, then – by magic?
But Ms Laing is clearly one of the queue of Tories lining up to defend Mr Green, any way they can – like Education Secretary Justine Greening, who called for action to be taken against the former police officers who brought forward evidence of pornography they found on Mr Green’s office computer, along with evidence that he was logged in when the material was downloaded.
She said (again according to Politics Home): “I think it is important that we have high standards in public life.”
This Writer agrees – but there are grounds to believe the evidence would have been suppressed if the gentlemen concerned had not come forward in the way they did. And high standards in public life should start with our Parliamentary representatives.
One example of the failure of such standards is the behaviour of David Davis, Brexit Secretary and Cabinet ally of Mr Green. Sources (whoever they may be) were quoted as saying Mr Davis was ready to quit his government job if Mr Green is sacked – but now Politics Home is saying they have changed their tune: “A source told HuffPost UK that Mr Davis was not likely to step down, but did feel ‘aggrieved’ at Mr Green’s treatment.
“’David has an historic role in government and we are within touching distance of getting a major breakthrough on Brexit. Why would he walk away from that?’”
Obviously this was before the historic collapse of that “major breakthrough”. I wonder how Mr Davis feels about these matters now.
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This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so shocking. These are real excuses made by UK companies in order to withhold the minimum wage from employees.
How much do the bosses take home?
This is another argument in favour of Jeremy Corbyn’s maximum wage ratio, I think.
Sadly, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills did not see fit to tell us which companies provided these excuses.
The list below has been published by the Government to coincide with the launch of a new £1.7 million campaign, which aims to encourage employers to check workers are being paid at least the statutory minimum.
Some of the worst excuses for dodging the minimum wage include:
The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first 3 months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.
She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.
My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.
My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.
My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.
My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.
Labour’s promise to expand the reach of freedom of information (FoI) requests to cover private companies, such as G4S or Capita, in relation to their public service work will be meaningless as long as those companies, along with government departments, can use clever excuses to duck out of their responsibilities.
Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan, interviewed by The Guardian, said more and more public services, funded by taxpayers, are being run by private companies who are outside the scope of freedom of information.
That is why Labour will expand the reach of FoI requests, opening up up private contractors that run prisons, courtroom and health services to public scrutiny.
There’s only one problem: Government departments already have a range of excuses available, with which to bat away any inconvenient requests.
Just take a look at this article on the politics.co.uk website, detailing a few of these tricks. Vox Political‘s own FoI request for up-to-date statistics on the number of people who have died while going through the ESA claim or appeal process is currently stalled, having run into a ‘section 22’ exemption on the grounds that the information will be published at a future date.
It has not been made clear how far in the future this date may be, but, considering some of the requested information is now more than three years old, it seems likely that the Department for Work and Pensions is waiting for Hell to freeze over.
Here’s another article, from the Huffington Post, showing how even the simplest, easiest-to-answer requests are being rejected.
Why should we believe private companies will be any more open to examination than government departments?
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