Tag Archives: funding

Riley libel: will Vox Political’s Mike get a fair hearing at the trial?

Good news/bad news:

It seems I’m likely to be able to agree directions for the trial of Rachel Riley’s libel claims against me. Just about the only bone of contention is the length of time it is likely to take.

Her legal team says two days; I reckon three. It’s better to plan in too much time than to have too little and go to the expense of coming back at another date, with all the lawyers involved, including the judge, having to ‘read in’ again in order to remember what’s going on.

It might be a last gasp for Riley’s old plan to spend all the crowdfunded money you’ve provided on time-wasting side-issues. Hopefully it will be dismissed as a bad idea.

More worrying is the choice of the judge. What if Mrs Justice Collins Rice – who got the strike-out application wrong – is chosen to hear the trial?

I would have serious concerns about that.

I am told that, as defamation cases are usually heard by full-time High Court judges, I will end up with one who has already dealt with it in some way – Mr Justice Nicklin, Mr Justice Saini or Mrs Justice Collins Rice – although there are some other judges who deal with defamation.

My concern is obvious and logical: after her performance at the strike-out hearing – when her decision was wrong – I do not believe I would get a fair hearing.

Let’s face it – I didn’t get one last December.

I have passed my concerns to my own solicitor and am awaiting a response.

In the meantime, please keep your contributions coming, as and when you are able to make them. It is only with your help that I can fight this case at all. By the end, it is likely to have cost around a quarter of a million pounds to defend – and the total raised so far is still a long way from that!

Here are the instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Hopefully the trial will happen in the not-too-distant future, although obviously I won’t object if it is delayed while the claimant has her baby.

I’ll keep you informed of developments.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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While people were dying of Covid-19, your government used the crisis to rip you off. Watch this film

Once more, with feeling (I’ve used this image many times): the PPE used in UK hospitals at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic is pictured bottom right. Instead of buying proper PPE from trusted providers, the Conservative government created a special back-channel to funnel cash to their cronies in return for faulty or unusable trash.

It’s less than seven minutes long and you need to know what it has to say.

The information in it is accurate – as far as it goes. This Site has published some of the facts before.

But this film, which was apparently projected against the walls of Parliament, puts it all in a nutshell.

Here it is:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Bonanza for private health firms as Tories cut NHS’s ability to cope

Private hospitals are set to mop up more than £2 billion in new deals – £200 million of which will be pure profit for shareholders – to provide non-urgent procedures like hip replacement operations because the NHS is struggling with Tory underfunding.

It’s typical financial incompetence from the Tories – they’d rather send £200 million to the private offshore tax-haven bank accounts of greedy profiteers than invest it in the health of the English people (this is an English NHS plan).

And experience indicates that the NHS will have to come back and sort out the mess after the private firms botch a significant percentage of the operations (unless they’ve managed to stop doing that? If anyone has new information on this, please let me know).

According to iNews,

The Government has drawn up contingency plans for further local, regional, or national lockdowns in England, but hopes the deals to create around 7,000 extra beds in private hospitals will help avoid the need for the reintroduction of Covid restrictions.

The signing of further contracts with the private sector follows a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that found NHS waiting lists could almost treble to 14 million by autumn next year.

A spokesman for NHS England claimed such deals between the NHS and private healthcare groups are struck “at the same cost to taxpayers” as NHS services. However, similar contracts throughout the pandemic have agreed a “cost-plus” pricing formula, which allow for profits of between 8 and 10 per cent to be paid to the hospital groups.

Private hospital groups such as Circle Health, Ramsay Health Care and Spire Healthcare are believed to been among those discussing new and expanded deals with the Department for Health and Social Care.

This is just throwing good money after bad.

And the reason it is necessary? Here‘s the Morning Star:

NHS workers are trapped in a “vicious circle” of staff shortages and exhaustion, health service experts have warned, as they called for better funding of the health service.

Real investment in capacity is needed to address vacancies in the NHS, the effect of which has been compounded by increasing rates of staff sickness, said Dr Layla McCay, policy director of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations.

The warning came after MPs published a damning report in June highlighting “emergency” levels of staff burnout in the healthcare sector.

There are currently 76,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, including 40,000 for doctors.

Last month, research by doctors’ union BMA found that England was 25 years behind comparable European nations in terms of the number of doctors per 1,000 people.

Saying that it was “unforgivable” that the government had allowed workforce levels to reach this point, the union demanded extra Treasury investment in training and retaining doctors.

So there you have it.

The NHS would be able to cope with the extra work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – if only the Conservative Government had funded it properly, making it possible to employ and retain a number of doctors equivalent to those available in other European nations.

But they didn’t. Once again, despite being the sixth-richest country in the World, the UK is the “poor man” in terms of the value we get for that money.

And rather than even begin to put right that lack of investment, the Tory imbeciles are wasting money by throwing it at private firms who will invest it in their own private back accounts rather than in treating people who need it.

That really is sick!

It conforms with Noam Chomsky’s definition of privatisation technique perfectly, though: defund, make sure things don’t work… hand it over to private capital.

The Tories in government are swearing that the private contracts are just a stop-gap measure while the NHS is struggling.

But just you watch them and see if they ever take that work back in-house.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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#KeirStarmer’s death spiral: he’s denying vital funds to #Labour by banning members on false pretences

Starmer’s hypocrisy: this image was made when Starmer was accusing individual Jews of anti-Semitism. Now he’s attacking organisations that will have Jews in their memberships – and Neil Coyne has called for one Jewish group to be proscribed as well, in an echo of Nazi demands during the Weimar period in Germany.

Boris Johnson’s Tories may be unfit to govern but Keir Starmer’s version of Labour is in no condition to take over as it continues its self-harming course to the political scrapheap.

Starmer’s latest big idea for electoral success is to make Labour even more like the Conservative Party by ending its pretence of being a “broad church”; he wants to ban membership from anyone who claims to be a socialist.

As stated in a previous article, he’s doing this by claiming that socialists – who want self-determination for people of all ethnicities, particularly those that currently suffer persecution – are anti-Semites (because this means they want self-determination for Palestinians who are persecuted by the Israeli government that Starmer smarms up to).

First on the list to get the chop are around 1,000 party members who also belong to Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour in Exile and Socialist Action.

Their crimes appear to be claiming that many anti-Semitism allegations, for which Labour members have been suspended or expelled, were blown out of proportion and politically-motivated; welcoming such expelled or suspended members into their own ranks; and demanding the re-admission of Jeremy Corbyn into the Parliamentary Labour Party.

All of these stances may be demonstrably connected to support for Palestinians against Israeli persecution.

Here’s the part that marks Starmer out as an imbecile, though: in cutting members out of the party, he’s cutting off the membership fees that he needs, in order to maintain the machinery he is using to attack them.

As it is – at the same NEC meeting where he will demand the removal of the above-named groups, he will have to propose plans to make around a quarter of Labour Party staff jobless:

Hilariously, the Guardian report tells us that the plan has been devised in a report entitled Organise to Win!

The report states:

Labour’s finances have been hit hard by fighting three general elections in the past six years, as well as a string of costly legal cases, and hopes of a membership bounce after Starmer took over failed to materialise.

The party paid out a six-figure sum a year ago to settle a case brought by seven former employees and a veteran BBC journalist, admitting it defamed them in the aftermath of a Panorama investigation into its handling of antisemitism.

It doesn’t mention the possibility that Labour had no need to settle, as its legal advisors had told Starmer that the party was likely to win if the case came to court. His decision to capitulate is inexplicable.

And how many other disasters have gone unreported? Labour lost thousands of pounds defending itself in court against This Writer’s case, that the party had broken its own disciplinary rules in order to expel me.

The finding was that the party had not broken its rules, which are extremely vague in respect of what may actually be done – but Labour did appear to have broken the regulations it had in place at the time, in order to justify throwing me out. The court ordered that Labour should not be repaid the thousands of pounds it had spent on the case.

How many other such cases have taken place? What other disputes have eroded the party’s funds?

Remember: Labour became the richest UK political party under Jeremy Corbyn because he inspired hundreds of thousands of people to join up – people Keir Starmer has been desperately trying to throw off since he became leader.

Starmer’s plan, it seems, was to go back to relying on donations from big businesses – the same model as that used by Tony Blair during the ‘New Labour’ period of the mid-1990s to 2015.

But his failure to inspire popular support – because he hasn’t said what he stands for – means businesses aren’t supporting him.

There is only one conclusion to draw:

If he isn’t trying to end his own party, then it is ironic that he might be saved from his own stupidity by NEC members who oppose the proscription plan. The UK’s biggest union, and Labour’s biggest donor – Unite – is against it:

The quoted section in the above tweet is from the Guardian article, again, and states:

Labour’s biggest donor, the Unite trade union, attacked the plans on Monday, saying: “While working-class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead.”

The union added that such “acts of political machismo” create a “sense of despair among voters who see a party at perpetual war with itself”.

And NEC members from the left-wing Grassroots Voice organisation also oppose the proscriptions:

The group states:

We believe that asking us to consider this matter … is a continuation of the destructive, factional behaviours from the leadership of the party which have marked the last year.

This isn’t just about the organisations we are being asked to consider… it is about … setting a precedent, proscribing these organisations as a forerunner to proscription of more and more groupings on the left of the party, to ultimately expel large sections of the Labour left and erase the Bennite and other socialist traditions within the party.

Then again,

Starmer has a supportive majority on the NEC, so the plans are expected to be agreed.

If so, then Starmer has stuffed the NEC with drones who are just as stupid as he is and the Labour Party no longer deserves to survive.

So those like Mrs Gee, below, who believe the Left is on a hiding to nothing if it carries on with Labour, may be entirely justified in that view – and, while it may take decades to get a new party up to the popularity Labour achieved under great left-wing leaders like Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson, it may be better to work towards that than to support a lost cause:

Whatever happens, it seems the Labour Party, as run by Keir Starmer, is over.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Lord Geidt clears his employer Boris Johnson of ministerial code breaches. He would, wouldn’t he?

We all know the Tories think we’re stupid; accept this nonsense at face value and they’ll know it’s true.

A Tory peer, Lord Geidt, has apparently carried out an internal party review of the way refurbishment of the 11 Downing Street flat (occupied by Boris Johnson) was funded and found that Johnson – who is his boss, let’s not forget – was innocent of any wrongdoing.

And nobody should believe a word of it.

Geidt said the Cabinet Office paid the costs and charged them to the Conservative Party, on the understanding that a trust was being set up to provide the funds.

This trust was never set up and the bulk of the cash came from Lord Brownlow, a Tory donor and former vice-chairman of Johnson’s Conservative Party from 2017 to July 2020 – as had been claimed in press reports.

With regards to the flat, [Geidt] said: “It is clear from the record that while a serious and genuine endeavour, the trust was not subjected to a scheme of rigorous project management by officials.

“Given the level of the prime minister’s expectations for the trust to deliver on the objects he had set, this was a significant failing.

“Instead, the prime minister – unwisely, in my view – allowed the refurbishment of the apartment at No 11 Downing Street to proceed without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded.”

In other words, Johnson claimed ignorance of the situation – but ignorance is no excuse.

Besides, he told us he had paid for the works himself, and that is plainly a lie.

He gets £30,000 a year as an allowance for such works – more than most of us earn in full-time work – and it still wasn’t enough. Reports suggest that the changes to the Downing Street flat cost around £200,000 in total.

Still, the Electoral Commission has launched its own investigation.

The commission said it was “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect than an offence or offences may have occurred”.

At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have matter what Geidt found, as power to decide whether a breach of the ministerial code has occurred rests with the prime minister – Johnson himself.

Knowing how corrupt he is, we know that he was never going to admit an offence that may require him to resign from his job.

We are left with several conclusions:

That Johnson is guilty as sin, that the government is utterly corrupt because he is leading it, and that Geidt and Brownlow have implicated themselves in that corruption by whitewashing their boss.

Source: Boris Johnson was ‘unwise’ to allow flat refurbishment ‘without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded’, report finds | Politics News | Sky News

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This is how governments attack minorities: they cut funding to councils

End SEND cuts: the Tory war on kids with special needs has been going on for years – this image is from 2019.

Your Tory government has targeted youngsters with special needs for persecution.

Oh, it hasn’t announced an attack on kids whose life opportunities are limited by accidents of birth. Oh no. It doesn’t have to.

Instead, it has simply cut funding – creating a shortfall of more than £500 million in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system.

There’s no need for the cuts. Experience over the last few years has shown us that the government could easily create the money needed and dedicate it to this purpose, if ministers were included to do so.

They are not.

Don’t be surprised. This is just the latest stage of the ongoing Tory war on people with disabilities. Eugenics disguised as economics.

Source: Councils in England facing funding gaps plan to cut special needs support | Special educational needs | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Johnson under investigation AGAIN – this time over funding for his Caribbean holiday in 2019

Boris Johnson: he spends lots of money, but he doesn’t seem to spend any of his own.

Has Boris Johnson paid for anything himself since he became prime minister?

How many more investigations into alleged financial improprieties by him are we going to see?

And how much public money are they going to cost?

This is ridiculous.

As UK citizens, we expect our representatives to behave with exemplary dignity, propriety and honesty – at all times.

If Johnson is found wanting, in any of the investigations currently racking themselves up around him, then we must demand his resignation – or removal – in disgrace.

And let’s not have the usual Tory whitewash because we will know if it’s a stitch-up.

We’re all watching very carefully now.

Boris Johnson is being investigated by the MPs’ standards watchdog over the funding of a Caribbean holiday [on Mustique, an island playground for the incredibly rich] in 2019.

Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Stone has confirmed she is looking into whether the prime minister correctly declared how the trip was paid for.

Mr Johnson has previously declared he received accommodation worth £15,000, covered by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross.

Source: Boris Johnson facing probe over funding of 2019 holiday – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Let the ridicule pile high: social media destroy Boris Johnson over Downing Street flat redecoration

Loadsamoney: the controversy over Boris Johnson’s flat has concentrated attention on the fact that Tories always find cash for their own benefit, while depriving members of the general public of the funding that a proper government should provide to them.

The Electoral Commission has announced that it is investigating the funding of redecoration work on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat, saying it has “reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred”.

And our friends on the social media have gone into satire overdrive.

Today they have targeted the prime ministerial consort, Carrie Symonds, under the hashtag #CarrieAntoinette – on the grounds that she was the driving force behind the astonishingly-expensive changes.

So we see this:

And, indeed, this:

The claim that Symonds demanded the use of wallpaper costing £840 per roll has been particularly inflammatory:

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of being funded with huge amounts of cash to pay for the redecoration of a Tory prime minister’s flat, while the Tory government still refuses to fund safety improvements to blocks of flats afflicted with inflammable cladding that makes them as likely to go up in flames as Grenfell Tower (due to decisions by Tories, most likely):

But possibly the best snipe of the lot came from department store chain John Lewis:

The image is of a John Lewis van outside the gates of Downing Street.

The way events are moving, in a few days we’ll be seeing a removal van there.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tory Covid-19 mismanagement means 10 MILLION PEOPLE missed hospital care in 2020

Hospital ward: many people who desperately need medical care will not get treatment in one of these for years, because the Conservative government spent years starving the NHS of cash and resources (including staff) before the Covid-19 crisis.

That’s right – around one-fifth of the UK population did not receive hospital care because Boris Johnson’s Tories couldn’t be bothered to fund the NHS properly.

Don’t tell me the money isn’t there because experience over the last year has shown that it quite clearly is – the Tories simply don’t want to spend it on a service they are quietly trying to privatise.

We all knew that the Covid-19 pandemic would disrupt normal NHS services; this was inevitable no matter how well-resourced the health service would have been.

But the Tories have spent years starving it of funds and hiving off elements of it for sale to private companies that are simply incapable of helping in a crisis, even if their bosses were inclined to do so.

As a result, we now see that 4.6 million people missed out on hospital treatment – mostly because hospitals suspended their normal services in order to handle the huge influx of people who were severely ill with the virus as a result of Boris Johnson’s incompetent failure to lock down the UK in time to prevent a tragedy.

A further six million fewer people were referred by GPs to hospital for diagnostic tests and treatment because of the disruption to care, a wish not to further pressurise the overstretched NHS, and a reluctance to send patients to a place where they could catch the virus.

This means the NHS is likely to face even more pressure as these missing millions demand treatment as the pandemic eases off. And what if another wave pushes hospital admissions up again?

More to the point: how many patients have died?

And crowdfunding website GoFundMe has reported a huge increase in the number of people seeking donations to support medical care: 87 per cent more citing “waiting lists” as their reason, 60 per cent more stating they need cash for “clinical trials” and a deeply concerning 55 per cent more saying they need cash to buy cancer drugs.

The concern here is that people who pay for private surgery often end up being sent back to the NHS to have botched operations fixed.

So people who pay for operations to take pressure off the NHS could find that they are still only making matter worse.

The extent of the problem is highlighted by The Guardian:

The number of people forced to wait more than a year for their operation has rocketed from 1,613 before the pandemic to 304,044 in January this year, and more than 1 million people have been waiting at least six months, even though 92% of patients are supposed to be treated within 18 weeks under the referral to treatment scheme.

“The waiting list is already at the highest level it’s been since comparable records began in 2007, and if it did rise from 4.6 million now to 9.7 million by March 2024 as we estimate, that’s more than double the waiting list now,” [said Tim Gardner, a senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation].

Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association, pointed out that patients have gone without life-saving treatments:

She said the association was “particularly concerned by reports of treatments being cancelled that could be life-saving”.

Finally – and to hammer home the point that this is a political issue: the disruption to hospital treatment was almost one-and-a-half times as bad in poorer areas than where people are richest. The worst-affected English region was the North West.

This confirms not only that poverty affects health but also that Tories like Boris Johnson couldn’t care less; after all, they haven’t done anything about it.

It will take years to reduce the number of people waiting for treatment until the 18-week target time is achieved – even with a government that genuinely wanted to help. The experts say it won’t happen until long after the next general election.

But local elections are happening much sooner – on May 6. Tories will be concerned that voters will use them to express their displeasure with a government that let them down badly, and has been lying about what a good job it has done.

Source: Covid: 4.6m people missed out on hospital treatment in England in 2020 | NHS | The Guardian

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‘Pork barrel’ Tories: they quietly changed rules to give money to schools in rich areas

If you live in a poor area, you may soon start wondering why your local school is complaining about having no cash. Here’s the answer:

It’s because Boris Johnson and his Conservatives have quietly changed the way ‘pupil premium’ cash – allocated to children who are classed as deprived – to ensure that most of them could not be registered.

The pupil premium hands over £1,345 for every primary age pupil who claims a free school meal, or £955 for a secondary student.

Allocations have always been based on numbers registered by each January – but was suddenly – and secretly – switched to “the number of eligible pupils recorded by schools in their census in October 2020” – just a few weeks after the new school year started.

Many parents had not provided the necessary information by that time – they tend to need reminding of it because the Tories refused point-blank to introduce a fair system of automatic registration.

Schools in poorer areas are likely to lose around £40,000 each – the equivalent of a full-time teacher or two support staff. Schools in rich Tory areas are said to be likely to benefit.

This is ‘pork barrel’ politics – rewarding people who voted for the Conservatives with cash benefits.

It’s forbidden in election campaigns but sadly there is no way to prevent a government from diverting funding to benefit areas that voted for it; they’ll always have an excuse.

And they have one in this case. Accused of making the change when it was too late to act, the Department for Education responded that the intention was to “allow schools a chance to know their budget earlier in the year, helping them to plan ahead”.

How many had been complaining that they couldn’t plan ahead with the previous system? We’re not told that, which suggests the Tories just made up something they thought would sound good.

This revelation follows a previous discovery that the Tories have stripped £100 million of emergency funding from poorer parts of England – including many Covid-19 hotspots – and given it to Tory constituencies instead.

The government stripped deprivation out of its calculations, despite announcing plans for that switch had been shelved – and despite saying the money was to “fight the pandemic”.

[The cash] is intended to fund getting rough sleepers off the streets and domestic abuse victims into safe accommodation, as well as to help manage funerals and bolster frontline services; all tasks more onerous in deprived areas with more virus cases.

The poorest areas in England lost funding, while the 10 richest areas enjoyed huge boosts.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it was providing funding in “the fairest way possible” but this rings hollow when compared with the black-and-white figures.

But it’s what the UK’s Tories voted for – a fat bung from a corrupt government, taken from the people who genuinely need the funds.

Source: Millions of pounds swiped from England’s poorest schools in fresh ‘political’ funding switch | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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