Tag Archives: financial

Why is JEREMY HUNT doing more to demand help for working people to self-isolate than KEIR STARMER?

What’s wrong with this situation: the former Tory health secretary is doing more to demand financial support for people, who can’t otherwise afford to self-isolate with Covid-19 symptoms, than Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.

Read this:

The point is well made. Hunt has written a Twitter thread explaining the problem as he sees it, while Starmer has been sitting at home – self-isolating for a third time because he can afford it! – on his thumbs.

Here’s what Hunt said:

He’s not wrong, is he?

And he’s winning a lot of praise for it.

But, good as his points are, there’s an answer that trumps them.

It refers to the reason people can’t afford to self-isolate as matters stand at the moment.

Here it is:

It’s true. And we must remember that Jeremy Hunt was the Health Secretary at the time of Operation Cygnus, which demonstrated that the NHS would be overwhelmed if a pandemic infection happened – and he did absolutely nothing to rectify the situation.

So, while it is welcome that he is tinkering around the edges of it, we should remember that Hunt helped cause the wider problem in the first place.

Right?

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Did Johnson force Brexit on us just to maintain London’s status as the world’s financial crime centre?

Silent: did Boris Johnson force Brexit on us all, just to protect crooks in the City of London? If so, he’ll never admit it.

Beastrabban found this in conspiracist magazine Lobster, so take it as you like.

The claim is that Boris Johnson set his mind to return to the House of Commons after his term as London Mayor ended, purely to stop the European Union clamping down on the City and its role in money laundering and financial crime across the globe.

By taking the UK out of the EU, the theory states, he was preserving the City of London as the financial crime centre of the world’s economy.

The Beast points out that such a desire to protect the Tories’ city backers (as well, no doubt, as any financial criminals that might happen to be hanging around) “is going to wreck our manufacturing industry and agriculture, raise food prices, and create shortages of food, medicines and other goods”.

When you consider the kind of people with whom Johnson has been spending his free time recently, one has to wonder whether there might be a smidgen of fact to this…

Source: Did Boris Become PM and Back Brexit Just to Protect the City of London from EU Regulation? | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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Tory irresponsibility: Sunak financial statement sparked four suicides in Merseyside

Who, exactly, are the Tories helping with the hundreds of billions of pounds they have borrowed?

According to the latest projections, the government is likely to have borrowed £316.4 billion more than last year, mostly on Covid-19-related measures.

That’s about £5,000 per person and This Writer can’t help thinking the money would have been better-spent if the Tories had just given it to each of us and told us to stay at home.

Instead, they devised a series of financial packages to fit people in certain circumstances – and to ignore others.

That’s the reason the Liverpool Echo is reporting that four people in Merseyside were known to have committed suicide after hearing Rishi Sunak’s most recent financial statement.

The Echo quotes Anneka Hicks of Excluded UK, an organisation to help a large proportion of the workforce who have been cut out of any ‘meaningful government support schemes’:

Over the past eight months many of our members have had to sell their homes, their cars – they have depleted their entire life savings.

They’ve lost their dignity. Many of them have been forced to take state benefits (if they can) and use food banks to feed their families, they’ve lost their businesses or made redundancies.

They are expected to start again with nothing, or less than nothing.

Sadly, we lost four members to suicide within 72 hours of the chancellor’s latest financial statement, but they are only the people we know about.

There are more details in the Echo article but look at the heartlessness of the government response:

We’ve acknowledged that not everyone has been helped in the way they would have wanted, but overall the Government has provided a huge amount to help businesses and families through this crisis.

The scheme’s eligibility criteria are designed to most effectively target support to low earners and prevent fraud.

It seems clear that it isn’t working.

And now Sunak wants people like these to pay increased taxes. One of them points out

I pay my taxes every year, I expected something back from that.

How can Sunak expect money from people he deliberately locked out of any help – or the families of people who have died as a result of his policies?

Source: ‘Four suicides within 72 hours of Rishi Sunak statement’ says campaigner – Liverpool Echo

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Tories announce lavish new support scheme for businesses – after snubbing Manchester with a pittance

Stung: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new support package for English areas under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions in a move that seems time to snub Greater Manchester.

The north-west English area had been under Tier 2 restrictions until earlier this week, when Sunak’s government forced it into Tier 3 with a financial support package that has been vilified as punitive and unfair.

Now the BBC is reporting:

Rishi Sunak announced big changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – set to replace furlough in November.

Businesses in tier two areas, particularly in the hospitality sector, had complained that they would be better off if they were under tier three restrictions.

Sunak delivered his announcement in the House of Commons:

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was unimpressed – and even that usually-staunch supporter of the Tories, the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, had to agree that he made a fair point:

Burnham expanded on this in a TV interview:

Anthony Browne, the Tory MP appearing on the day’s edition of the BBC’s Politics Live, tried to justify the timing of the announcement:

If it takes time to evolve a policy change like that which Sunak announced in Parliament, then that means it would certainly have been under discussion when the talks with Burnham were taking place.

So it also follows that the Conservatives holding those discussions – like Robert Jenrick, who spewed such a lot of nonsense about it earlier in the week – deliberately failed to mention it to Burnham.

Why?

The only reason that I can see would be to corruptly engineer a financial disadvantage for the Labour-voting people of Greater Manchester.

Once again, it seems, the Conservatives are using the Covid-19 crisis for their own selfish political gain.

How utterly despicable.

I am glad to see that the £2,100 per month grant is retrospective and may be backdated to August 2.

I hope hospitality businesses in Greater Manchester use it to take as much as they can from Sunak and his twisted government.

Source: New government Covid scheme to pay up to half of wages – BBC News

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Independent Group for Change’s financial records were destroyed

Anna Soubry: she was leader of Change UK at the end, while her partner was Treasurer.

Remember Change UK, the company-pretending-to-be-a-political-party that went through multiple name-changes in its short life?

Well, it seems the auditor handling the wind-up has discovered irregularities.

Will anything come of it – prosecutions? Doubtful.

Should prosecutions happen? Hard to tell.

Politicians seem to get away with so much these days, it’s impossible to tell whether they’re innocent of wrongdoing or not.

Staff at the Independent Group for Change, the disbanded party established by centrist MPs in 2019, “inappropriately destroyed” financial records, a report by its auditors has found.

According to the auditors, documents including bank statements and files recording details of donations to the party were destroyed by former members of staff. None of the documents, auditors said, could be “satisfactorily reconstructed”.

The report, contained in accounts filed at Companies House on Friday, said the loss of the documents had limited the scope of the auditor’s review of the party’s finances.

Source: Independent Group for Change’s financial records were destroyed | Politics | The Guardian

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With so many others closing, why not hairdressers? Because they haven’t been told to

I was talking to an acquaintance the other day – a person of senior years who fits into several of the coronavirus “at risk” categories.

“Oh yes,” she assured me. “I’m self-isolating.”

Great!

“I was only telling my hairdresser about it at the salon today.”

What?

I mean, what?

Yeah. She was absolutely staying away from contact with any other people who could possibly pass on Covid-19 to her – apart from any other people who happened to be at the hairdresser’s at the same time as her. And she didn’t think there was anything wrong with that.

And here’s the thing:

Even the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) – that represents hairdressing salons – knows that people who attend such establishments are putting themselves at risk.

Why haven’t they closed?

Well, some have done so voluntarily.

But most have not – because the government hasn’t told them to do it.

See, without an order from Boris Johnson’s administration, hairdressers can’t get access to the financial help that has been put in place for businesses.

That’s why the NHBF has asked for salons to be put on the list of businesses that must close.

Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:

The Government issued instructions on Friday 20 March about which businesses must close but made no mention of hair salons, barbershops or beauty salons. The NHBF has urgently contacted a number of key government officials and departments (see details below) to ask for all salons and barbershops to be immediately added to the list of businesses that must close.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we fully understand how worried everyone in our industry is at the moment. Our priority is to protect our industry, colleagues, business owners, employees and clients from the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Some salons and barbershops have already taken the decision to close, and we believe that this is the right decision. Stylists, therapists and barbers are inevitably in close contact with a wide range of clients which means they cannot follow the government’s social distancing guidelines.

My own experience with my acquaintance tells me that the NHBF is right.

It’s vital that the government puts hairdressing salons on the ‘closed’ list – otherwise people like her will blithely put themselves in danger without a second’s thought.

Source: Coronavirus: NHBF update 22 March 2020 – National Hair & Beauty Federation

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Inquiry demanded into claims Boris Johnson backers will profit from ‘no deal’ – and it can’t come soon enough

The sign says ‘leader’: but is there somebody in the shadows, telling him what to do in their interest, rather than that of the UK as a whole?

The Labour Party has demanded an independent “conflict of interest” inquiry into Boris Johnson, over claims that the prime minister’s backers will profit hugely from a “no deal” Brexit.

John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, has written to the UK’s most senior civil servant, Cabinet Office secretary Mark Sedwill, calling for an investigation into alleged collusion with currency speculators.

The demand is based on comments by Mr Johnson’s sister Rachel and claims by former chancellor – now an Independent MP – Philip Hammond that speculators were investing in “short” positions – betting on the pound plummeting and inflation rocketing – after a “no deal” Brexit.

It has been reported that they could make more than £8 billion – while the rest of us suffer.

In his letter to Sir Mark, the shadow chancellor said there had been widespread reports of increases in short positions taken against sterling in the lead-up to a possible no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson and the Conservative party had received “a significant sum” in donations from no-deal backers, a number of who are involved in hedge funds, he said. Meanwhile, the PM has made it clear he is ready to go ahead with a no-deal outcome to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

“These three facts have caused concern that the prime minister may have a conflict of interest,” wrote Mr McDonnell. “Donors to the Conservative party and/or the prime minister could stand to gain from a no-deal Brexit – even if only through cushioning losses by adopting short positions. The prime minister could reasonably be seen as having an interest in securing a no-deal Brexit to financially benefit his donors.”

He added: “It is becoming increasingly apparent from public comment that the prime minister is bringing into doubt whether he is upholding the highest standards, thereby further undermining public confidence and trust in him and his government… It is important for public confidence and trust in the House of Commons that any real or apparent conflict of interest is investigated.”

“The prime minister could reasonably be seen as having an interest in securing a no-deal Brexit to financially benefit his donors.”

No UK public servant can serve two masters in such a way, and for a prime minister the good of the nation must come before any personal benefit to that person, their friends or supporters.

The Jennifer Arcuri scandal has already placed significant doubt on Mr Johnson’s loyalties. The British public consider him entirely capable of putting the interests of himself and his financiers before those of the nation.

And in the meantime the Brexit deadline clock is ticking down to October 31.

Mr Sedwill must agree to this inquiry, and it must be carried out with haste. Everybody needs to know the facts before it is too late.

Source: Brexit: Labour demands inquiry into ex-chancellor’s claims Boris Johnson backers set to profit from no-deal | The Independent

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Sajid Javid helped cause the UK’s financial crisis. Why did BoJob make him CHANCELLOR?

I’ve had great fun using this picture of The Collector from Doctor Who in place of Sajid Javid. It turns out that the fictional character is a more honest villain than the new Chancellor.

I seem to be publishing a series on the uselessness of Boris Johnson’s new Conservative cabinet – so let’s discuss Sajid Javid.

The genius Yorkshireman who runs Another Angry Voice showed us that we all have reason to be angry about his appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer, only a decade after he helped cause the financial crisis that unleashed a decade of pointless Tory austerity on us all.

Before we go on, let us all remember that there was absolutely no need at all for the Tory cuts to public services that we have endured. They have not cut the national debt. And the cuts to the deficit are in spite of the reductions in taxation of the rich that the Tories have insisted on making.

So their entire policy for the last nine years has had no point – other than the persecution of people with less money than the so-called One Per Cent.

Now read this:

Before his move into politics Javid was a banker at Deutsche Bank, where he sold complex financial derivatives called Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs).

CDOs were economic alchemy schemes designed to turn toxic bad debts into fake gold-plated investments.

The whole thing defied economic logic… they were junk investments that were bound to implode sooner or later.

If we’re charitable to Javid, then we could argue that he was a clueless dupe, naively selling a load of toxic junk in good faith simply because he was too stupid to investigate the products he was actually selling, and so poorly connected within the CDO industry that he was unaware of the open secret amongst his peers that the products he was selling as safe investments were actually bound-to-fail financial Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The other explanation is, of course, much worse. If Javid was smart enough to realise that the CDOs he was selling were bound-to-fail junk, and he was in on the open secret within the trade that they were certain to implode one day, yet he carried on selling them as safe investments to oblivious customers like other banks, pension funds, local and national governments, and insurance funds as low-risk investment opportunities, then he’s a cynical and duplicitous fraudster.

It’s an excellent argument that Mr Javid is unfit to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. Indeed, it seems shadow chancellor John McDonnell has used it as the basis of his own argument that his appointment is inappropriate … but that is not the subject of the article you are reading now.

So, given that Mr Javid helped cause the crash, why did Boris Johnson make him Chancellor?

In the light of Mr Javid’s record, and of the Tories’ financial policies since May 2010, it seems clear that Mr Johnson sees him as the perfect man to keep those policies going.

Source: Sajid Javid is totally unfit to be Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Boris Johnson’s ‘Garden Bridge’ failure cost you £53m. So much for Tory financial responsibility

Is anyone keeping track of the amount of money these failed Conservative vanity projects are costing the public purse?

Boris Johnson cost us £53 million with this silliness alone, but has everyone forgotten his costly water cannon project?

Chris Grayling haemorrhages money.

The DWP spends a fortune trying to deny help to benefit claimants.

I’m sure you can think of plenty of other examples.

Under the Conservatives, the national debt has more than doubled, but they have insisted on granting huge tax cuts to the super-rich.

And they call themselves the party of financial responsibility. Pathetic.

A failed plan to build a bridge covered with trees and flowers over the River Thames in central London cost a total of £53m, it has been revealed.

A Transport for London (TfL) inquiry showed the Garden Bridge Trust spent £161,000 on a website and £417,000 on a gala for the abandoned project.

The design of the bridge cost more than £9m and the charity paid its executives £1.7m.

Around £43m came from the public’s pocket, TfL added.

Source: Failed London Garden Bridge project cost £53m – BBC News


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Shock doctrine: Is May planning to ENGINEER a crisis, just to stay in power?

Theresa May: As dangerously insane as a supervillain like the Joker?

This is psychotic.

It is being reported that Theresa May is planning to “engineer a financial crash” to bully MPs into supporting her Brexit deal.

The idea is that, if she loses a first vote on her Brexit deal, she will encourage a crash in the financial markets – purely to encourage MPs to support her lame deal.

That’s right – it seems she is deliberately considering trashing the UK’s economy (more than she’s trashed it already, even), ending jobs (which were probably only part-time/zero-hours/limited contract pseudo jobs anyway) and curbing our already-limited productivity, for no other reason than to keep herself in 10 Downing Street.

It’s pure “shock doctrine” – as defined by the Urban Dictionary: “The strategy by the world’s economic elites of imposing an extremely neoliberal economic regime on communities they control, using some form of shock: a natural disaster, a coup d’etat, a war, a financial crisis, etc. Once the community has been crippled by this first shock, the economic “reforms” [embodied in this case by Brexit] are imposed suddenly, creating a secondary blow.”

It is also despotism – deliberately inflicting suffering on the citizens of the UK in order to stay in power corruptly.

This Writer has little reason to believe that Conservative MPs have the moral backbone to understand why this is wrong, let alone stand up against it. The DUP – the Tories’ partner-in-crimes-against-the-people for the last year and a half – may withdraw its support, though, and the other parties should never accept it.

So it may never happen.

But the fact that it has even been suggested means it could – and that is a horrifying admission in the country that is home to the “Mother of Parliaments”.

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