Tag Archives: force

Government department cancels P&O contract over mass sackings

Moored: P&O ferries were subjected to safety checks – which many failed – after foreign agency workers on less than the minimum wage were hired to replace illegally-sacked UK staff.

It’s extremely rare that This Site gets to praise the government for doing something right.

So let’s give credit where it’s due to the civil servants at the Home Office and Department of Transport, who have cancelled a contract with P&O Ferries over the company’s decision to sack around 800 UK-based employees and replace them with agency workers from abroad, paid less than the minimum wage.

Border Force has terminated its agreement with P&O to provide contingency travel services to juxtaposed ports – UK border controls set up in Calais, Dunkirk and some railway stations in France and Belgium, where goods and passengers are checked ahead of travel.

The contract was to transport border staff to northern France if there was a problem at the Channel Tunnel and was the DoT’s only deal with P&O.

But the government has also awarded P&O’s owner, DP World, contracts to run two so-called Free Ports. Some of us have been waiting for those contracts to be cancelled ever since the unannounced (and therefore illegal) mass sackings happened in March.

If all contracts with this rogue company and its parent aren’t killed, then the Tories are effectively supporting the illegal removal of UK workers from their jobs.

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Killing of Shireen Abu Aqleh referred to international criminal court

Shireen Abu Aqleh: it’s hard to see the justification for killing someone with the word “PRESS” emblazoned across their jacket.

The death of Shireen Abu Aqleh has been referred to the International Criminal Court as part of an investigation into whether Israeli security forces have been targeting Palestinian journalists in violation of humanitarian law:

The case originally submitted in April by Bindmans had focused on four Palestinian journalists wearing press helmets and vests, two of whom were maimed and two shot dead. It also covers alleged attacks on Gaza media infrastructure in May 2021.

Lawyers from Bindmans and Doughty Street Chambers announced the addition of the death on 11 May of Abu Aqleh to the existing claim at a press conference in London.

They said the case was vital owing to the repeated failure of the Israeli security forces to investigate such incidents and the inability of Palestinian reporters to secure reparations in Israeli domestic courts.

There will also be issues of jurisdiction… Israel itself is not a party to the ICC, raising issues of enforcement of any eventual ruling.

Why isn’t it? Why does Israel get away with this kind of unaccountability?

This comment from one of the solicitors involved is extremely telling:

Tayab Ali, the Bindmans solicitor in the case, said “evidence was not lacking, but the political will”, adding “Israel in the past has been gifted immunity”.

He said: “Israel has enjoyed a devastating impunity against accountability for the actions of its armed forces, and has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a bad faith investigator. It has not managed to hold anyone to account for the tens of Palestinian journalists that have been killed or maimed so far”.

The Palestinian Authority announced the results of an investigation into Abu Aqleh’s death, saying that it revealed Israeli forces deliberately shot and killed the reporter.

Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, said, “Any claim that the IDF intentionally harmed journalists or noncombatants is a blatant lie.”

Source: Shireen Abu Aqleh: killing of reporter referred to international criminal court

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Javid’s vaccination coercion will increase NHS staff shortages

Covid Javid: he’s trying to force something into the bodies of frontline NHS staff. Many will see this as a form of attempted rape – which it is – and quit. And NHS staffing will worsen. Wouldn’t it be better simply to change their jobs so unvaccinated people aren’t on the front line?

We could all see this coming. For a party that insists it values choice above all things, the Tories love forcing people to accept what they don’t want.

So Sajid Javid is forcing all NHS frontline workers to have Covid-19 vaccination injections, whether they want them or not.

We have discussed this subject previously on This Site. I made it perfectly clear that I am double-jabbed – and I intend to have the booster injection when it is offered to me, even though I know it will make me feel very ill for several days.

Nevertheless, I was attacked as an anti-vaxxer by several ignorant souls after I stated that this has been my personal choice, and there is no possible argument strong enough to rob other people of their own choice.

Javid cannot force people to have the injection. That would be forcing them to have a foreign object inside their body against their will, which is analogous to rape. I do not use the comparison lightly and anybody who criticises another person for making it fails to understand the seriousness of the issue here.

The alternative to taking the injection, it seems, is expulsion from the National Health Service.

Who does that help?

It won’t help patients because there will be fewer staff available to treat them and waiting lists will become longer.

It will help those who want to privatise the NHS altogether because they’ll have a stronger (albeit as false as ever) argument that it cannot cope and private firms should be brought in to take up the slack.

Is that Javid’s ulterior motive? Probably.

A simpler solution would be to move staff who won’t accept the injection away from frontline duties. That would be the safer option for all concerned in any event and should have happened as soon as a vaccine became available. I wonder why nobody has bothered to implement it until now.

Other staff could have been trained up – or hired in (remember, the NHS currently has a shortage of many thousands of nurses and doctors).

If a solution isn’t found and people are forced to choose between the injection and the loss of their job, then that will be coercion and I would strongly encourage victims of such intimidation to take the Health Secretary to court for attempting the criminal activity named above.

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Priti Patel’s planned immunity for officials who cause deaths of refugees is NAZISM

Nazi: Patel wants Border Force staff who cause the deaths of refugees to be immune from prosecution. What’s the defence – that they’re “just following orders”? That was what the Nazis said too.

Somebody has already called it fascism, but in fact this is Nazism:

According to The Guardian,

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

The home secretary is seeking to introduce a provision in the nationality and borders bill that could give officials legal protections in the event that someone drowns.

Whether the provision, tucked away in an obscure corner of the bill, would actually protect officers from conviction under international maritime laws could be tested in the courts.

Presumably their defence will be “I was just following orders”.

Wait – where have we heard that before?

Ah yes: Nuremberg. It was the defence put forward by German soldiers responsible for Nazi atrocities like the Holocaust.

And we know it:

Still, there is a precedent. After all, government employees have been immune from prosecution over the deaths of sick and disabled people for years.

Apparently people are being discouraged from pointing out the obvious far-right, Nazi parallels – so kudos to this Twitter user who accurately labels Home Secretary Priti Patel, the fiend responsible for this move:

If this legislation is enacted and people die, she should be dragged out for trial in The Hague – and I, for one, would be quite happy to see her sentenced to execution.

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Should vaccination be compulsory? Not on these arguments! [Vox Political Debate]

Jabber Johnson: Boris Johnson has invested everything in the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccinations – but a quarter of new infections are in people who have had both injections.

Should working people be forced to have one of the Covid-19 vaccines, on pain of losing their jobs if they refuse?

The question was debated on Politics Live last Thursday – and gave rise to an interesting discussion on Twitter.

The headline findings are: there are no good reasons for forcing vaccination on anybody. Your body is your own and nobody should be allowed to tell you what you do with it, put in it or take out of it.

Would you order a woman to have an abortion if she didn’t want to, for no other reason than that it would make you feel better?

That’s what it comes down to, in this case as well.

Forcing somebody else to vaccinate will not make it less likely that you will catch Covid-19, because vaccination does not stop people contracting or transmitting the virus.

In fact:

If vaccination was made compulsory, you would be more likely to catch it – because people would think they were better-protected than would be the case.

And the attitude and arguments of those who supported forcing people to vaccinate is a real eye-opener. See for yourself. Here’s how I started:

Now read the discussion:

Hmm. No answer to that.

Let’s see what else people had to say…

Charming!

But it is a correct conclusion. David Barry had admitted that the likelihood of catching the virus does not depend on who has been vaccinated, and the seriousness of the case depends, not only on whether the transmitter was vaccinated but on the contractor’s physical constitution.

I repeat: Forcing people to vaccinate will not stop anybody else contracting the virus; it’s not what the vaccine does.

Again, no answer.

The next person eventually blocked me because I countered their arguments logically. Fortunately we can see Ace Socialist’s tweets here:

And of course, whether the transmitting person had been vaccinated makes no difference to whether the effects on me are greatly reduced if I have been vaccinated. This person had provided no evidence at all to prove that other people should be forced to have the jab.

Then the conversation took a sinister turn. Consider the falseness of the following argument. I wasn’t referring only to the risk to me; people in care homes have all been vaccinated now (apart from those who have refused it for their own reasons) so the risk to them has also been reduced, by as much as is possible.

As I understand it, the decision on whether children have vaccinations is made by their parents/guardians (collectively). So Ace’s argument below is false:

That’s right – those laws say their parents/guardians make those decisions until they are old enough to make them for themselves. They do not say that the government or any other exterior organisation can take those decisions away.

Those are the arguments I have seen and they are not persuasive.

If you have a better argument for forcing an action on another person against their wishes, I’d like to know what it is.

At the moment, it seems the only reason for it – that makes any sense – is the desire to exert power over someone else.

That road leads to Nuremberg.

ADDITIONAL: And what about “vaccine passports”? If being vaccinated doesn’t stop anybody being infected, then it can’t be used as justification for attending large events in close contact with other people; the possibility of infecting many of them remains as high as if nobody there had had the jab at all. Right?

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Should the UK Home Secretary be linked to ‘charity’ that supports persecution of Palestinians?

Bloodthirsty: Priti Patel.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who was sacked as International Development Secretary for trying to carry out her own foreign policy in Israel, is linked to a so-called charity that supports the persecution of Palestinians.

Patel used a family holiday in Israel to carry out secret political meetings with members of that country’s government – she pretended she had told the Foreign Office about them but had not.

When she got back to the UK, she tried to divert part of the Foreign Aid budget to fund the Israeli military occupation of the Golan Heights – land that belongs to Syria.

Eventually – after some dithering by then-prime minister Theresa May, Patel was forced to resign, only to be restored to an even more important Cabinet position by Boris Johnson.

Now we see a reason for Patel’s behaviour nearly four years ago: she is linked to the Henry Jackson Society, a (so-called) charity whose leaders support Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers occupying – and carrying out atrocities – in the Occupied Territories of Palestine.

I’m sure we all remember the IDF’s war crimes against Palestine in April, when it bombed civilian infrastructure in Gaza including apartments, offices, government facilities, business and roads.

The IDF justified this by saying it was attacking assets of the Palestinian group Hamas, and the uninvolved individuals it killed – including many children – just happened to be in the way.

It is right to say that Hamas has itself committed war crimes, but that does not mean the IDF should do the same in return, and it is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity including apartheid and persecution.

Henry Jackson Society executive director Dr Alan Mendoza justified Israel’s violence in Gaza on LBC News in May as legitimate self-defence, making no mention of Israel’s occupation and systematic discrimination against Palestinians.

Byline Times tells us about Patel’s involvement with this questionable organisation:

Until 2016, Priti Patel was a member of HJS’ Political Council, and in 2014 HJS sponsored her to fly to Washington DC to attend a conference organised by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

During the involvement of … Patel, two of HJS’ US directors have been involved in charities with close ties to the Israeli military.

In November 2020, Byline Times revealed that between 2015 and 2018, HJS’ US-based non-profit vehicle operated under the directorship of Joshua Swidler and Liad Meidar, both of whom are Republican Party donors. Swidler is also a Conservative Party donor and his late wife Alisa Swidler was a member of the Conservative Party Leaders Group who had given a total of £336,686 to the party.

Both former HJS director Swidler and current HJS director Meidar are simultaneously directors of a number of charities which support Israeli soldiers.

The Byline Times article goes on to mention more links between directors of the HJS and IDF-supporting charities. It continues:

Patel [was] involved with HJS during its US directors’ active involvement in these IDF supporting charities.

Here’s the point:

Involvement with this alleged charity (the involvement of its personnel in both US and UK politics may infringe Charity Commission rules on political independence) means Patel has, at the very least, been in contact with people who support Israeli military atrocities against innocent civilians.

And it was after she had been a member of that organisation’s political council that she visited Israel, met politicians including then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and tried to use UK government money to fund IDF activities in an occupied territory.

The charity says it hasn’t done anything wrong, but is that true if its directors have been using the connections it allows them to make in order to increase aid to the political causes they support?

So the question has to be asked:

Is it true that Patel supports the IDF in its atrocities because she has been radicalised by her association with the Henry Jackson Society and its directors – or that she became involved because their beliefs coincide with her own?

And, given that this may be the case:

Isn’t it also true that Priti Patel is a bloodthirsty racist who should not be a member of Parliament, let alone a hugely-powerful minister in the Tory Cabinet?

To help you remember why this is important, here’s a mild reminder of the way Israeli settlers, supported by the thugs of the IDF, treat Palestinians who are trying to work on their own land:

Priti Patel supports this violence.

It seems clear that, as long as she remains in government, the UK will continue to support Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

As long as people like her – puppets whose strings are being pulled by shadowy pro-Israel organisations – are in power, there will never be peace in the so-called Holy Land.

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The Tories are running scared into the local elections – and scared Tories are DANGEROUS Tories

Face of fear: Boris Johnson’s time is running out. The local elections will show him just how short that time may be. How far is he prepared to go to hold on to power?

Enjoy this video by Richard Murphy (I did):

Yes – Tory policies are going very badly, and the propaganda machine won’t be able to hide that from the majority of us when those failures hit our quality of life.

Brexit has screwed our businesses.

Covid-19 isn’t over – there could be another wave by July (possibly fuelled by variant strains that have bred in the gap between vaccination doses).

The Conservative government is rife with corruption.

And nationalism is on the rise in Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland is on fire because Unionists have realised that they have been sold out by the Westminster government and their own DUP politicians who supported the Tories during Theresa May’s ministry.

What’s Boris Johnson’s response?

He’s provoking people. He’s trying to blame those who oppose as if they are the provocateurs.

Through his ‘identity politics’ process of calling out those he describes as “woke”, who he is therefore chastising for their commitment to equality on a range of grounds… he is trying to provoke [them] to attack him.

That is standard right-wing … fascist policy.

Murphy’s conclusion is accurate, too, I think:

They know that their policies are failing so all they can do is use blunt force to try to maintain their position in office.

… Like the fascists they are.

Hence the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that proposes draconian new powers for the police, who are to be used as political tools, putting down any opposition to Tory dictatorship. And to ensure that these powers are exercised, what do the Tories do?

They are provoking crowds; they are seeking riots.

Because then they can point at the rioters, and at the peaceful people who agree with the reasons for rioting, and claim that they are the enemy.

Toryism is about “othering”. It is about dividing us and setting us against each other, so we fail to act against our real enemy: them.

It is encapsulated in the story about the Tory, the worker and the immigrant:

A Tory, a worker, and an immigrant are sitting at a table with 20 biscuits. The banker takes 19 biscuits, turns to the worker and says: “Watch out, that immigrant is going to take your cookie away.”

Murphy’s last point is chilling:

They’re not sure they want to go without a fight and we don’t know how tough that fight is going to be.

This Writer reckons it will be very tough.

Tories don’t mind spilling the blood of poor people. In fact, they delight in it. When they send the police to break up protest demonstrations, they see it as poor people fighting among themselves. It’s a huge jolly for them.

In the past, Tories have always known when to give up. They’ve recognised the signs and withdrawn before events escalated too far. That’s why the UK has never had a popular uprising or revolution like those in France, Russia, or China, to name a few other countries.

But the current Tory leadership isn’t like those old statespeople. Boris Johnson wants to hold on to power and will do anything to keep it.

I wonder what we’ll be prepared to do when the time comes to take it away from him.

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The Tories crippled their own border controls. Don’t let them use their own stupidity to boost racism

Tories like scapegoating immigrants – and have been doing it for decades: the current fad is for claiming illegal immigration feeds modern slavery, but the underlying threat has always been that Johnny Foreigner is taking your job. It’s an old con.

This Tory hypocrisy is a little too rich for our taste.

Boris Johnson’s government is whipping up jingoism against refugees secretly crossing the Channel to get into the UK:

It seems ministers have conveniently forgotten that successive Tory governments were responsible for stripping the country of its ability to catch the people-smugglers.

Former prime minister Theresa May, during her term as Home Secretary, spent years cutting Border Force, the organisation that – we’re told – protects our borders.

I published this story in 2014 and matters have only become worse.

If it can’t manage now – and the Tories have had to appeal to the Navy for help – that’s their fault and they should own up to it.

Instead, they’re trying to turn their latest fiasco into a crusade against Johnny Foreigner sneaking onto our shores and boosting modern slavery.

How utterly vile.

I accept that it is perfectly understandable to want to keep unmonitored people out of the UK during a time of international contagion.

However:

The issue is why these people want to come to the UK at all. If we really wanted to stop them, we need to help end their reasons for leaving their own homelands.

(Obviously, making the UK an unattractive destination has failed as a strategy.)

My guess is, these people are running away from wars, and the fallout from wars, that the UK helped start under recent Tory governments.

So whichever way you turn, the finger of blame points at the Conservatives.

It leads me to ask whether this is an attempt at distraction – and if so, I’m wondering what’s so bad that the Tories are happy to expose themselves to ridicule, simply to divert attention away from it.

Source: Home Office seeks military help over migrant crossings – BBC News

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Johnson sets up secret Whitehall task force to excuse him from Covid-19 mistakes

Johnson’s Covid-19 strategy: this Times cartoon seems to have it right; don’t expect his private inquiry to come to the same conclusions.

Isn’t it strange that Boris Johnson can tell us it isn’t time to have a public inquiry into his Covid-19 strategies – but then orders one to be carried out in private?

The claim is that the Department of Health team will examine lessons to be learned and recommend action.

But I think somebody on Twitter summed up the reality of the situation much better:

“Johnson isn’t looking for the facts. He’s looking for something he can tell Parliament.” That’ll be something to excuse him from any wrongdoing.

Source: Boris Johnson sets up secret Whitehall task force to examine Government’s virus mistakes – Mirror Online

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MPs must physically attend Parliament again from June 2. Let’s see how THAT works for them…

Jacob Rees-Mogg: he wants a return to the way Parliament was conducted long ago and he doesn’t care if MPs die as a result.

MPs have voted to end the “virtual” Parliamentary proceedings they have been enjoying since the lockdown started.

From June 2, they will have to attend in order to take part in debates – even though the limit of 50 people in the Commons chamber at any time will remain.

How’s that going to work, then?

Jacob Rees-Mogg, laughably the current Leader of the House, reckons the change will restore sufficient scrutiny of policy matters, but it is difficult to understand his reasoning.

With fewer people allowed in the Chamber, there will be less opportunity for our representatives to have their voices heard.

Rees-Mogg whined that virtual proceedings slowed down debates to one-third of normal pace – but isn’t that better than excluding MPs from debates altogether?

And then there’s the question of whether the decision is effectively one to “euthanise” MPs:

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been told by a senior Conservative backbencher that an attempt to return to a “physical” parliament will in effect “euthanise” MPs who are sick, shielding and self-isolating.

Former minister Robert Halfon said the proposals would discriminate and threaten the lives of some MPs.

“Is it really morally just to say in effect to MPs, because you are not Tarzan-like and able to swing through the chamber, beating your chest shouting to your constituents: ‘Look, I am here!’ that you are effectively euthanised from the Commons?

“MPs who are disrupted by this awful pandemic are not just old horses to be sent to the knackers’ yard,” he said.

Some of you may be confused by Mr Halfon’s speech.

It seems he was not suggesting that MPs would catch the coronavirus and die in what some members of the public might consider a mercy-killing (as far as the UK’s citizens are concerned).

Instead, it seems he was suggesting that MPs would be excluded from proceedings, meaning they might as well be dead as far as the good of their constituents is concerned. It’s opaque.

More to the point, perhaps is a letter signed by 35 MPs, arguing that a return to a “physical” parliament could mean that those in high-risk categories including BAME MPs, older MPs or those who are pregnant will be disproportionately restricted.

One very dangerous aspect will be the return of physical voting, in which MPs will be packed into small spaces as they file through the “aye” or “no” lobby. That creates a threat of contracting Covid-19, that could be fatal for some.

But Rees-Mogg was never likely to listen to arguments against it. That is the traditional way in which MPs vote and, as the “Member for the 18th Century”, his emotional tie to it far outweighs any concern for the wellbeing of others.

ADDITIONAL: A reader has just reminded me that MPs were all given £10,000 to facilitate working from home. Are they going to give any of that money back? Ten big ones for just eight weeks’ lockdown seems exorbitantly excessive to This Writer!

Source: MPs told to return to Parliament by June 2 despite health concerns – ITV News