Did Boris Johnson axe international development department so he could misuse its cash?

Boris Johnson is being urged to forget his plan to scrap the Department for International Development on the grounds that money would go to the wrong nations. The DfID is being merged with the Foreign Office but whereas the DfID has spent a majority of its budget in the poorest countries and has a reputation for transparency, the same cannot be said for the FO – especially under Boris Johnson. When he was Foreign Secretary (between 2016-2018), it was in the middle of spending £84 million on China – which…

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Antique clocks stolen from Foreign Office? Why were they there in the first place?

Why are people making a fuss about antique clocks being stolen from the Foreign Office? What were antique clocks doing at the Foreign Office in the first place? Who stole them? And why did the Foreign Office waste nearly a year before informing the public? If they’re important historical artefacts, shouldn’t they be in a museum? If not, then maybe our cash-strapped (that’s what they always say) government should try to make a couple of quid out of them – if they’re supposedly worth so much. Perhaps that’s what somebody…

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The Tories axed their defence against coronavirus years before it arrived. Deaths were inevitable

Not only has Boris Johnson’s response to coronavirus sparked ridicule around the world, but he is also being pilloried for failing to do anything to prepare for it. It seems to validate criticisms that he was hoping the pandemic would simply kill off all the so-called “useless eaters” – people on benefits with illnesses or disabilities that make them vulnerable to Covid-19 – meaning that his government wouldn’t have to support them any more. According to the Huffington Post, the Cabinet Office has been producing a National Risk Register of Civil…

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Rail fares rise by 2.7 per cent – and most of the money will go abroad

Are you aware that, Brexit or no, huge amounts of your money are funnelled into European Union countries – because of Tory privatisation of our national assets? That may seem a strange way to open an article about this year’s 2.7 per cent increase in rail fares – but the point is that the extra money being extorted out of commuters will go abroad, to fund foreign rail services. And the fact is that trains in the UK are now almost entirely state-owned – by foreign countries. Yes, by stupidly…

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Tory visa scheme will cripple social care – and the NHS will suffer knock-on harm

Charming. The Conservatives are openly announcing plans to harm services for people in need. Tories are demanding a £30,000 salary threshold and tougher visa requirements for overseas workers once the UK has left the EU and free movement has come to an end. They also want migrants to be earning £35,800 after five years. As care workers receive much less than £30k a year – due to Tory pay restrictions? – this means that the care sector will lose personnel. Not only will the needs of vulnerable people go undetected, not…

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UK railway services are now almost entirely state-owned – by foreign countries

Could there be a better argument to support Labour’s call for train services to be re-nationalised? British rail commuters pay the highest prices in Europe to use trains that are almost exclusively run by European state operators. We are subsidising services in their countries. If our railways were re-nationalised, the money we pay would flow into UK state coffers. From there it could be used to, possibly, improve the service and reduce prices. Don’t you think that would be a better way? With rail fares set to rise again by…

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Brexit Party – that wants to force the UK out of the EU – could be funded by foreigners

What a contradiction. The party that hates foreigners is apparently being propped up with foreign money. It seems “dirty money” – possibly part of foreign interference in UK democracy, intended to de-stabilise the EU – could be propping up Nigel Farage’s new front. At least, that’s what Gordon Brown thinks: Gordon Brown has written to the Electoral Commission calling on it to urgently examine whether the party has sufficient safeguards on its website to prevent the contribution of “dirty money”. The former Labour prime minister will use a speech in…

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Government introduces plan to prevent interference in elections – while claiming there’s no evidence it is needed

The Conservative government has introduced new plans to “crack down on intimidation, influence and disinformation” and safeguard UK elections – while strenuously denying evidence of any such behaviour. New laws will bar people from running for office for five years, if they are found guilty of intimidating or abusive behaviour. In future, online election material must clearly show who has produced it – one hopes the Brexit Party will take note of this. And there will be a consultation on ways to strengthen laws on foreign donations. The last two…

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Second reshuffle in a day for May as she makes Hunt the Unhealthy her new foreign secretary

If this motley crew is the best Theresa May can dredge up to form the latest version of her government, she should throw in the towel now. Jeremy Hunt – a pathetic, chinless yes-man who, through a mixture of malice and incompetence, has managed to ruin the National Health Service – becomes Foreign Secretary. It is a gift that has been tarnished by the fact that Theresa May reportedly offered it to David Davis in a vain attempt to persuade him not to resign from her government last night – and…

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Out but not down: Johnson has resigned because he’s plotting mischief

What’s your instinctive reaction at the news that Boris Johnson has resigned? That he chose country over party (ha ha)? That he knew the latest Brexit ‘plan’ is unworkable (stop it! you’re killing me)? That he took the honourable way out (that’s too funny! Is there a doctor in the house)? Mine was that he’s up to something nasty. BoJob was always one to seek advantage from the perceived weakness of others and I think that’s what he’s doing now. He remains a hugely influential figure in the Conservative Party…

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