Tag Archives: find

Historic fossil find in Mid Wales

No doubt you’re wondering why a political site is mentioning a news story about science.

It’s true that a historic discovery of fossils dating back to one of the earliest periods of Earth’s history has been made near the Mid Wales town of Llandrindod Wells, near where This Writer currently lives:

Museum Wales researchers found the fossils in rocks laid down under the sea more than 460 million years ago.

Over 170 species, including rare soft-bodied animals, were discovered in 2020 on private land known as Castle Bank.

Almost all the previous examples are from the Cambrian period, but Castle Bank dates from the middle Ordovician, some 50 million years later.

This Writer would just like to clarify that, despite the comments of some critics, I am not the fossil that was found.

Seriously, it’s amazing that something as scientifically significant as this has been found nearby and I wanted to share my pleasure that it has happened.


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Help find this woman before sleeping in bins gets her killed

Have you seen the young woman in the picture above?

She was last seen in Deepdene Gardens, just off Brixton Hill in London – sleeping in a wheelie bin. If she had not been spotted, she may have been scooped up by a refuse collection truck and crushed to death.

This is the risk run by rough-sleeping homeless people if they sleep in these bins – although they may not know it.

I refer you to a story on This Site from December 2014 – four years ago:

“‘One of our clients was sanctioned. He had
no money for seventeen weeks. He was
scavenging in a bin, the lorry came, picked
him up and he was crushed to death.’

“The above is a statement by Vince Hessey, a member of the board of trustees at Birkenhead YMCA (listed as YMCA Wirral), given in evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom, printed in the section entitled The vulnerability of people relying on food banks.

“A decision by a UK government employee, following guidelines set down by UK government ministers, led to a man being crushed to death in a refuse collection lorry.

This was one of many incidents that would not have happened if UK government policy had been different.

The UK government clearly couldn’t care less.”

The young woman who was found in the wheelie bin might have suffered the same fate as the man in that previous story (and others – he wasn’t the only person to die in that manner), if she had not been found and recorded by a refuse collector, as the following clip, placed on Twitter by Chris Furlong, shows:

The clip was subsequently retweeted by @UnityNewsUK, whose author stated: “This girl was last seen sleeping in a bin in Deepdene just off Brixton hill in London. Please can we identify her and get her some help before it’s too late. Nobody should have to live like this.”

Predictably, the clip attracted criticism from some quarters – but it is welcome that the critic was satisfied with the response:

The fact that a person was discovered risking her life in this way has drawn horrified responses on the social media, along with vilification of the Conservative government who put her there with its cruel policies and indifference to the hardship they created.

@kandisholland18 tweeted: “THIS IS THE UK. This is what @theresa_may is ignoring this is what IS SEEN AS A NORMAL THING TO DO! Young and old left in the cold with nowhere to turn. They just want us poor to curl up and be lost forever. The uk government are evil and do not care about us

@nickylabour4eva added: “The Tories are destroying everything good and decent about British society. It’s about more than Brexit isn’t it?”

@DebsaDelight commented: “She was so resigned to her fate. What a monstrous time we live in.”

This was from @pincushion: “Heart breaking – thanks to everyone who are trying to help her. I hate this bloody government.”

For Sarah Harten (@LOVELFCTODEATH), this was the main issue: “So sad. And all these overpaid industries out there. People with more money then they know what to do with. Was the human race really put here to sleep in bins streets and doorways?”

And Pamela McIntosh made this appeal: “How can this be happening in our country? This is someone’s daughter. Please help.”

One person who wants to help all homeless people is Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. In the week when Housing Secretary James Brokenshire tried to say homelessness was nothing to do with Conservative government policies, Mr Corbyn released the following clip:

And in response to a BBC appeal for suggested ways to end homelessness, Labour-supporting Twitter account Tory Fibs sent the following:

But these changes can only happen when a Labour government, led by Mr Corbyn, is elected.

For now, people like the young woman in this story are endangering themselves by sleeping in refuse collection bins.

If you have seen this woman – or if you see her after reading this – there are many charitable organisations offering help for homeless people; please ask one to make contact with her. You’ll be helping save a young life.

And that’s more than the Tories will ever do.

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Did Damian Green allow police to find porn on his computer in order to avoid prosecution?

[Image: Reuters.]

Does anybody know who has authority, in Westminster’s Parliamentary offices, to delete material from computer hard disks?

A friend with experience of such matters suggested to This Writer yesterday that it is possible nobody in Damian Green’s office, including the MP himself, had authority as an administrator to edit or remove the offending images, once they had been downloaded. The person who did download them may not have known this until they tried to remove it.

The material was discovered by police, during an investigation into the leaking of embarrassing information from Parliament into the public domain that happened a matter of weeks before the images were due to become illegal according to a change in the law.

My friend suggested that allowing the police to find the material, while it was still legally viewable, as part of an investigation in which it would be incidental, would allow it to be removed before the change in the law took place. This would mean the person responsible for downloading it would not have to fear prosecution for possessing it, at a later time.

There are problems with this suggestion, of course. But it is an interesting theory and I invite readers to consider and discuss it.


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Official: There is NO time limit for disabled people on Universal Credit to find a job

It seems strange to write a myth-busting article in favour of the Department for Work and Pensions, but it seems whoever told our fellow blog Skwawkbox that there was a two-year time limit for Universal Credit claimants with disabilities to find a job was misinformed.

This should come as a huge relief to many people who raised concerns after the article was published last month.

But it raises serious questions as to the information being circulated around the DWP.

This Writer, acting on concerns that the article was “fake news”, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DWP on July 19. I received a reply today. It states:

“There is no Work-Related Activity Group in Universal Credit (UC). UC claimants are allocated to one of four legally defined conditionality groups, set out in sections 19-22 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The requirements that may apply to claimants in each of these groups are set out in sections 15-18 of the Act. A link to the Act is provided here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/5/contents/enacted.

“Claimants who are expected to look for and be available for work must do all they reasonably can to find and take up a job. The Universal Credit Regulations 2013 regulations 93 – 99 set out the parameters for setting work-related requirements and regulations 101- 105 set out the different types of sanctions. A link to the Regulations is provided here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111531938/contents.

“Sanctions are only used in a minority of cases when people fail to attend work-search reviews; fail to meet the work-related requirements they have agreed in their Claimant Commitment; fail to apply for work or take up an offer of work; or leave a job, without good reason. The DWP does not have any statutory powers to sanction or reduce benefit payments solely on the basis that a claimant has been trying but has been unable to find work within 2 years.

“There are no time limits for how long a UC claimant is given to find a job.”

So that’s that. 

The parts of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 are worth reading in their own right – especially paragraph 99 of the Regulations.

As regards the claims that the original article was “fake news”, I contacted Steve Walker, who runs Skwawkbox, on July 22, and he told me:

“Can’t say for sure where the activist who first contacted me got the idea. She begged me to put something out asap to highlight it – I checked it with three separate longstanding DWP contacts whose responses ranged from “yep” to “100 per cent correct”, so I ran the story.”

My experience of Mr Walker gives me every reason to believe that these are the facts of the matter. Apologies are due to anybody who was unduly distressed by the inaccurate information in the article published on This Site on July 17. Considering Mr Walker’s comments, and the fact that the DWP is currently trying to hide facts about ‘outcome reports’ on its fitness-for-work tests after lying by saying it did not hold the relevant information, I can assure all readers that it was published in good faith.

We are left to wonder about the quality of information being given to DWP employees, that made it possible for them to confirm the original allegations as accurate.


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