Tag Archives: fail

Did ‘activist lawyers’ tell Home Office its Windrush compensation scheme was a disaster, too?

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

How unfortunate for the Home Office that it should fall foul of the lawyers twice in one day.

Or is it perhaps a sign of the Johnson government’s disregard for the law?

The Tory government’s much-maligned Windrush Compensation Scheme has been trashed by – one would expect – activist lawyers from no fewer than nine separate firms.

They say it is failing to provide access to justice – a claim that can only have gained validity after it was revealed that the HO tried to rush-deport 23 people illegally, because it had not allowed them their right to appeal.

The – activist – lawyers also said that while the Windrush scandal traumatised its victims, the compensation scheme is only worsening the trauma.

The HO has already confirmed that at least five people who applied for compensation died before receiving it.

Lawyers say they have experienced significant delays and difficulties filing claims for clients who were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants and lost their jobs, housing or pensions as a result.

The letter says many applications appear to be “appear to be lost in a kind of bureaucratic limbo”, with some people forced to wait more than a year for decisions.

Look at this:

The decision to put the Home Office in charge of processing of claims was particularly problematic, they write, given the criticisms of the department made in Wendy Williams’ official inquiry into the scandal. Williams’ report identified a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” within the Home Office and “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”.

And now let’s all remember that the Home Office is carrying out its own inquiry into the death of refugee Mercy Baguma. What chance does justice have in a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” with “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”?

Coincidentally (or is it?) yesterday HO permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft announced:

Perhaps inevitably, this was one of the responses:

Source: Windrush payout scheme not fit for purpose, say lawyers | Windrush scandal | The Guardian

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Spendthrift Tories have spaffed £500 MILLION on firms run by their friends – that do NOTHING

‘Spaffer’: Boris Johnson is throwing money the UK doesn’t have at his mates’ companies. What will you do when he tells you to pay off the debt?

In a week when we learned the Tories have more than doubled the national debt to £2 trillion, a mere £500 million might not seem much.

It’s around 1/200th, or half a per cent, of the total they’ve borrowed since 2010.

But this is money they have spent in the last six months alone – on contracts with companies run by their personal friends… that have apparently done nothing useful in return.

According to the Labour Party, 13 firms run by friends of Tory ministers have won contracts related to Covid-19, without having to go through a competitive tendering process.

Here’s what they’ve done with the money:

One firm, Randox, received £133million for Covid testing.

It pays Tory MP and former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson £8,333 a month as an adviser.

Earlier this month, 750,000 unused Randox testing kits were ­recalled over safety concerns.

How about the Serco ‘test and trace’ fiasco?

Serco is paid £108million for running the national contact-tracing service and nearly £46million by the DWP to run call centres.

Health minister Edward Argar was a senior executive and boss Rupert Soames is brother of former Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

In November 2019, Rupert Soames’ wife Camilla donated £4,995 to the Tory Party.

Here are the other firms mentioned in the Mirror article:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which won seven contracts, hired Theresa May’s former top aide Gavin Barwell as a strategic adviser in January.

He is also a non-executive adviser at Arcadis – which was given a £1.5million consultancy contract with the Ministry of Justice in April.

Public First Ltd gets £840,000 to run focus groups for No10. It is owned by James Frayne, who started the New Frontiers think tank in 2003 with Dominic Cummings.

Dragontown Ltd was awarded a contract worth £675,000 to supply PPE to London’s Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Lady Xuelin Bates, a director of this firm, is the wife of Tory peer and former minister Lord Bates and has donated £30,000 to the Tories.

If we had anything to show for this emptying of the public purse, there might be some justification for these contracts – but we don’t.

This is nepotism intended to further enrich the undeserving while bankrupting the nation.

Expect Boris Johnson to demand that, now he and his spendthrift mates have run up a huge debt, you have to pay it off.

Source: Firms linked to Tories have won £500m coronavirus contracts without having to bid – Mirror Online

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Covid test waiting time soars as IT failure hits private ‘lighthouse’ testing lab

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Matt Hancock: this is the brain-dead nincompoop who thought it would be a good idea to let private companies try to make a profit from a deadly pandemic virus. Nothing works properly and we all remain in deadly danger six months after Covid-19 arrived in the UK.

Once again private profiteers have failed the people of the UK.

An “IT systems failure” at a ‘Lighthouse’ mega-laboratory in Cheshire “resulted in a delay to the processing of results,” the government said.

“In addition, the increase of tests across all routes has resulted in backlogs in some laboratories.”

The labs were built in April, in a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK Biocentre and the University of Glasgow, supported by pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca.

It means just seven per cent of people who took a test at a “satellite centre” got their results within 48 hours in the week to August 12 – down from 75 per cent two weeks earlier.

And only 28 per cent of people who were posted home testing kits got the result within 48 hours – down from 72 per cent.

This is what happens when you commit the health of the nation to the hands of people who want to make a profit from it: nothing works.

Source: New coronavirus chaos as test result waiting times soar due to IT malfunction – Mirror Online

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Heatwave exposes failures of Tory UK to cope with climate change

Heat death: the far north has experienced its hottest temperatures ever, with fires breaking out across the world. But the Tories see no need to adapt to climate change and Keir Starmer has abandoned Labour’s policies to deal with it.

This Site received a strange response to the article on Tory class war yesterday (August 14), to the effect that I should be writing about climate change instead. In fact, the two are intertwined.

The Conservatives don’t accept climate change because the changes that acceptance would require would bite into the profits of their donors – and therefore into their own funds.

The recent/current heatwave has brought the issue into sharp focus. This Writer has been stewing, every day – and the nightly thunderstorms, while entertaining, didn’t make up for the fact that it has been hard to concentrate.

It seems I am not alone.

Our buildings are unsuited to hot weather; they were made to keep heat in during the winter. There is still no legal requirement to ensure homes, hospitals, schools or care homes are designed for the current or future climate – and under the Tories I do not believe there every will be.

It costs too much.

Parts of England are set to run out of water soon, because the Tories privatised water provision and the new companies fell into the hands of foreign government-owned franchises that have taken huge profits but invested nothing.

Our transport and energy networks are also facing crisis – look at the Stonehaven derailment which has been blamed on a landslip after heavy rain.

What is the government doing? It’s making matters worse.

Rishi Sunak has announced a £2 billion fund to make homes more energy efficient, with the cash going towards insulation – but the wrong insulation can turn a house into a heat trap.

And Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is no help with Keir Starmer at the helm. He has abandoned Jeremy Corbyn’s ambitious plans to combat climate change because he thinks they’re unpopular with the voters.

We’re facing a wholesale failure in thought and deed by our leaders.

And when the fabric of the nation falls (even further) apart as a result, who do you think will get the blame?

We will.

Source: UK infrastructure inadequate for climate emergency, experts warn | Environment | The Guardian

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Does failure of SERCO test-and-trace mean EVERY privatised Covid-19 project has failed?

Can you think of any Covid-19-related contracts the Johnson government has handed to private firms, that have actually succeeded?

I can’t.

They’ve all been spectacular failures, and this is just the latest:

Marcus is right about these private failures being hidden behind the NHS logo to make the public service look bad.

But the UK media won’t stop doing it because the UK media is complicit in the plan to privatise the NHS.

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Why are the Tories refusing to tell us how many people they are testing for Covid-19?

Matt Hancock: incomprehensible and incompetent.

You know it has to be a big fail when the Tories have spent more than a month adding to it, every day.

This story goes back to April 5, when Boris Johnson promised that 100,000 people would be tested for Covid-19 every day by the end of the month.

On April 30, the Tories duly lied to the nation – and their claim was instantly debunked by, among others, This Site. The claim was that nearly 130,000 tests were carried out; in fact the total was only slightly more than 70,000, if I recall correctly.

The rest were tests that had been sent out – but the government had no idea whether they had actually been used.

And of course there is a huge difference between the number of tests that were carried – and/or sent – out, and the number of people who have been tested.

The Tories continued failing to meet their target for a further fortnight, then gave up completely and simply resorted to saying the figures were “unavailable” – every day for a month.

Then today – June 30 – Matt Hancock appeared on the BBC’s Breakfast News, where he gave the following incomprehensible explanation for failing to provide the facts:

Gobbledygook!

And he was called out on it by Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, a show that has been boycotted by Tory politicians for many weeks now, because they are afraid they will be asked awkward questions.

That’s an attitude that opens them up to awkward criticisms instead, viz.:

At the end of the day, we’re no wiser about the number of tests being carried out or what the results may mean.

We can be sure of one thing, though:

The UK’s Conservative government is utterly incompetent.

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Lancet editor publishes book on government failures to deal with Covid-19. Here’s what it says

Richard Horton has been criticising Tory government policy on Covid-19 since at least January.

And he’d know his subject, being the editor of that most distinguished of medical journals, The Lancet.

Shall we have a quick shufti at a few of his points? Here:

He lambasts the management of the virus as “the greatest science policy failure for a generation”, attacks the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) for becoming “the public relations wing of a government that had failed its people”, calls out the medical Royal Colleges, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Medical Association (BMA) and Public Health England (PHE) for not reinforcing the World Health Organization’s public health emergency warning back in February, and damns the UK’s response as “slow, complacent and flat-footed”, revealing a “glaringly unprepared” government and a “broken system of obsequious politico-scientific complicity”.

Details:

The series of five academic papers the journal published in late January first describing the novel coronavirus in disturbing detail went unheeded. “In several of the papers they talked about the importance of personal protective equipment and the importance of testing, the importance of avoiding mass gatherings, the importance of considering school closure, the importance of lockdowns. All of the things that have happened in the last three months here, they’re all in those five papers.”

He still can’t understand why the government’s scientific advisers didn’t consult their counterparts in China.

From the published reports of Sage meetings, … scientists were “trying to be as sensitive to economic issues as they were to health issues”. That, he says, “is a dangerous place to be” because it compromises the ability of the advisory group to protect health.

The book, The Covid-19 Catastrophe: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again, is only 140 pages long so it came as quite a surprise that even the e-book edition costs £9.99.

You can buy it here.

Source: The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’ | Politics | The Guardian

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BBC covers up Johnson’s broken coronavirus testing promises; viewers switch to social media

It is any wonder that TV journalists are among the least-trusted in the UK in discussions of the coronavirus.

Today, in a segment on the arrival of the deadline for the government to meet its target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day, the BBC broadcast part of an interview from six weeks ago in which Boris Johnson promised to reach 25,000 tests a day.

Nothing was said of his original promise, which was 250,000 tests a day – 10 times as many and two-and-a-half times the current target, which is believed to have been missed.

On Tuesday, the government was only managing 52,000 tests.

According to Skwawkbox, the BBC

also framed the whole segment to make it appear that testing has always been the government’s ‘watchword throughout this crisis’ – even though the Tories have been so slow and dismissive on testing that the UK was one of the countries rebuked by the World Health Organisation for ignoring the WHO’s ‘test, test, test’ strategy that has allowed South Korea to reach zero domestic transmission without even having a lockdown.

The reality is that the Tories’ political decision to ignore the WHO’s advice to put mass testing at the heart of the UK’s coronavirus strategy has needlessly cost thousands of lives – we have suffered more deaths than any other country apart from the US – and has inflicted massive and avoidable damage on our economy.

It’s another reason people are switching to the social media in their masses – This Site’s hits during April are nearly double what they were last year.

Source: Video: watch the BBC’s huge omission to cover for Tories’ broken C19 testing promises | The SKWAWKBOX

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Coronavirus: Government food package for thousands in need was a Biblical failure

Feeding the 6,500 with this: Jesus had less to start with, but he had fewer to feed.

How are you supposed to feed 6,534 vulnerable people with 11 2kg bags of porridge oats, 11 tins of beans, 11 instant Scotch Broth, 11 Kit Kats, 28 Loaves of bread and 10 litre bottles of orange cordial if you’re not Jesus Christ?

That was the question facing Merseyside MPs when they received a food delivery from a Tory government that had promised to keep residents stocked up while they “shielded” from coronavirus by self-isolating at home.

The food was promised as part of a contingency policy, in case the national supply system should fail – but this is yet another Tory coronavirus policy that simply isn’t working; another promise they couldn’t be bothered to keep.

A few kit kats, some beans and 10 bottles of cordial – this was the extent of a “disappointing” food delivery from the government aimed at supplying around 6,500 vulnerable Merseyside residents.

This image [above] shows the lacklustre delivery that arrived in Wirral, intended to keep the borough’s 6,534 most vulnerable residents stocked up while they were being told to isolate at home because of the dangers of coronavirus.

Now all Wirral MPs have written to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick to criticise the delivery – and ask what steps are being doing to improve things.

A government spokesperson has claimed that the delivery misrepresents the contents of food boxes that are being delivered direct to the homes of vulnerable people.

These, we’re told, contain cereal, fruit and vegetables and pasta, and will provide enough food for one person for one week.

Really? This Writer isn’t convinced it would provide enough food for Iain Duncan Smith’s breakfast.

Source: 11 Kit Kats, 11 tins of beans and 10 bottles of cordial in government food package to area with thousands in need – Liverpool Echo

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School meal vouchers for poorest families ‘delayed’ – yet another Tory coronavirus fail

School meal: this image is from before the coronavirus lockdown. These kids are probably starving to death right now, waiting for their mythical Tory meal vouchers.

Oh, they’ve been delayed, have they? Funny, that…

Funny that the claim comes after This Site ran a poll asking whether anybody had received their vouchers – and two-thirds of the respondents said no.

Funny that the Tory government seems unable to supply anything that it has promised in the coronavirus crisis.

They promised plenty of personal protective equipment for NHS staff dealing with people who have the disease – and didn’t supply it. Medical professionals are dying, who should be helping to treat the virus, because of this failure.

They promised ventilators to stop people with the disease from dying of the pneumonia that kills them – and didn’t. This meant GP surgeries ended up asking some of the most vulnerable people in the UK to sign forms saying the did not want ventilators if they caught the disease – effectively signing their lives away.

They promised 100,000 tests per day to find carriers of the disease – and ended up turning away offers to supply test kits.

They promised to help victims of domestic abuse who have been shut in their homes with their abusers. No such help has been forthcoming.

They promised all kinds of financial packages to help businesses and employees hit by the pandemic – leaving gaping holes in the provision, through which many people are in danger of falling (if they haven’t already done so).

These Tories have promised the world, and delivered very little indeed – apart from at least 7,097 deaths so far.

So ask yourself: are they evil, or just monumentally stupid?

Many families whose children are eligible for free school meals have not received supermarket vouchers as promised by the government because of delays in the supply system, school leaders say.

Headteachers and school business managers in England said the problem was widespread, and many took to social media to complain about difficulties accessing the scheme and delays in delivering vouchers to the families who need them.

Until now there has been support for the government’s announcement of a national voucher scheme to ensure that children from the poorest families continue to receive free meals while schools are closed during the Covid-19 crisis.

Source: UK’s poorest families suffering as free school meal vouchers delayed | Education | The Guardian

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