Tag Archives: gaslighting

Guilt-shaming Gove should know: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

Michael Gove: that’s a Chelsea FC scarf he’s wearing. His love of that team led him to fly to Portugal where he had close contact with people who had Covid-19. He didn’t follow the rules that we must; he put himself on an elite ‘daily testing’ scheme instead, potentially endangering his work colleagues. And now he’s threatening to deny people who don’t have the vaccine access to events like the one he attended. What a barefaced hypocrite.

It’s a classic ‘nudge’ strategy: you want somebody to do something, you make them feel guilty about it.

So Michael Gove probably thought it was perfectly reasonable to say people who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine are selfish; that they are endangering the rest of us.

Trouble is, he‘s the selfish Tory minister who refused to self-isolate after the Covid-19 app on his phone pinged him for close contact with infected people when he flew off to Portugal to watch the Champions League final. Instead, he availed himself of a ‘daily test’ regime available only to a select few.

So he added another stick to poke the non-vaxxers into the vaccination centres: anybody turning down the vaccine may be barred from events he described as requiring a certain level of safety.

Like football matches?

His argument doesn’t work. His own history makes this another “one rule for Tory ministers, a different rule for everybody else” situation.

And if the vaccine is so fantastically good, then the people refusing it will be the only ones likely to die if they catch Covid-19. Everybody else will be protected – right?

Right?

The alternative is that there really is a covert reason for making us all have these injections.

Are the conspiracy theorists right?

What are these Tories pumping into us?

So now Gove has gone from making us feel guilty if we haven’t had the jab to making us all worry that the injection is secretly an attack against us.

And what does it mean?

It means if I hadn’t already had my jabs, I’d be seriously considering turning them down. I don’t go out much anyway.

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Windrush campaigners are right. Tories can’t recognise their own racism; their report is meaningless

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

This Writer was hoping people affected by the Windrush scandal would have something to say about the government’s attempt to whitewash institutional racism in the UK.

And they do.

The Windrush scandal happened because a Conservative Home Secretary deliberately destroyed documents that proved people who immigrated into the UK to help rebuild after World War Two – and their descendants – had a right to remain here.

Years later, after allowing time for those affected to forget that there was likely to be any problem, the Tory government started contacting members of the so-called “Windrush generation” and their descendants, declaring that there was no record of their UK citizenship, stripping them of their rights and deporting many of them.

It was, by definition, a racist scandal, instigated by the nation’s most fundamental institution – its government. And now a government run by the same party is trying to claim that the UK does not have a problem with institutional racism.

The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities mentions Windrush in its foreword, as an instance “where ethnic minority communities have rightly felt let down”, but continues: “Outcomes such as these do not come about by design, and are certainly not deliberately targeted.”

The second, and only other, reference to the scandal comes in the conclusion, when it is mentioned in passing as an exceptional example of things going wrong.

This is clearly inaccurate. The Lessons Learned review, an independent investigation into the causes of the Windrush scandal, found that the Home Office had displayed “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race issues, “consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism”.

Let’s see what some of the Windrush generation have to say about it:

Patrick Vernon, whose campaigning helped force the government to take action on Windrush, said: “I can see why they haven’t included it. If they had focused on the scandal they would have had to admit that there was a systematic, structural failure in how the Home Office targeted the Windrush generation.”

Anthony Brown, who runs the Windrush Defenders Legal group in Manchester, and who was himself affected by Windrush problems, said he was frustrated by the suggestion that the scandal had been dealt with and it was time to move on. “I don’t feel that the government has fundamentally taken on board what the Windrush scandal means. A whole cohort of people were marginalised.

“The narrative of the report is that it is up to the individual to succeed: if you work hard, keep your head down, you will achieve and be successful in Britain, and if you don’t then, that’s your fault. The policies of the hostile environment took away people’s rights, but the report tries to say: actually you have all the rights you need.”

Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said it was remarkable that Windrush attracted barely a passing mention in the report. “To suggest that these are solved problems that do not need addressing is to gaslight millions of people who know the difference between their own lived experiences and the fictions the government would prefer us all to believe,” he said.

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who helps run the Windrush National Organisation to secure justice for thousands of people who were wrongly classified as immigration offenders by the Home Office, was disappointed by the report. “There was a culture of not believing members of the Windrush generation, who had to jump through hoops to prove that they were telling the truth.”

Elwaldo Romeo, who was told he was in the UK illegally and faced detention after 59 years in the country, said he was disappointed by what he had heard of the report. “There’s no compassion and no understanding of what we have gone through,” he said. “Of course they want to sweep it under the carpet. Is there racism within the governmentint and the Home Office? Yes.”

Yes there is. Think of the obstacles Priti Patel put in the way of people trying to get the compensation they deserved after being targeted for discrimination.

Even after being told they were wrong, Tory ministers tried to pretend they didn’t owe restitution to the people they had wronged for the injustice they had wrought.

The only question now is how long we have to wait until Boris Johnson retracts the report and apologises for releasing such an arrogant screed of gaslighting propaganda.

Source: Windrush campaigners alarmed by omissions of No 10 race report | Race | The Guardian

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Matt Hancock is gaslighting not only nurses, but ALL of us, over PPE

Smug little liar: when Matt Hancock opens his mouth to make a claim,experience shows it will probably be wrong.

Our nurses are right and Matt Hancock is a liar. He would resign if he had an ounce of integrity but of course he doesn’t, so he won’t.

He has said he would not resign after a High Court judge ruled he was responsible for unlawful delays in revealing how billions of pounds were spent on gowns, masks and other protective equipment at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge: “My officials, with my full support, spent every waking hour buying PPE so that, even though we came close, we never actually ran out of PPE in this country.

“People can make up their own view about whether I should have told my team to stop buying PPE or whether I was right to buy the PPE and get it to the front line.

“And they did that even though the paperwork got delayed by, on average, just over a fortnight.”

Nurses don’t have to make up their own minds. They have the facts. They have experienced the deaths of their colleagues, who were exposed to Covid-19 needlessly because Hancock did not supply them with PPE.

In fact, as I stated earlier, not only did the Johnson government give away the PPE it had, it later wasted millions – if not billions – giving contracts to useless Tory cronies who either couldn’t supply the goods or provided equipment that could not be used.

That will be the buying that Hancock mentioned to Ms Ridge, then?

I also mentioned the fact that nurses caught the virus because they didn’t have proper PPE:

“According to Metro,

Three nurses who wore bin bags on their shifts due to a shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Just weeks ago, the nurses had shared a photo of themselves with clinical waste bags on their heads and feet as they issued a plea for proper masks, gowns and gloves at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow.

“I wrote: ‘One of them had said they were all “terrified” that this might happen, knowing that colleagues had caught the disease from patients, and having treated those colleagues. They had seen what the illness does… We know what the government that failed them is going to give them: Platitudes.’

“How right I was.”

Now, responding to Hancock’s comments, community nurse Angela Roberts recalled the incident when she asked:

Why were nurses forced to use bloody bin bags? Out-of-date masks?

She continued:

Why was PPE downgraded for NHS staff?

‘Why was there no PPE for care homes and community nurses except for plastic pinnies?

And Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for Nurses United, said:

He thinks that he can try to gaslight millions of health and social care workers who had to re-use PPE.

If so, he thinks wrong.

But what difference will it make if there are no consequences for his actions?

Source: Hancock is gaslighting us over PPE, say nurses | Metro

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BBC’s Question Time to get huge increase in viewers – for first five minutes of tonight’s show

Will they or won’t they? That will be the question on viewers’ minds as they tune in to the BBC’s Question Time this evening (January 24).

And if Fiona Bruce fails to apologise for joining Isobel Oakeshott in gaslighting Diane Abbott on last week’s edition, you can bet that a large number of those viewers will switch off. After that, word of mouth could cripple not only the programme’s reputation but also its viewing figures.

It would be extremely hard for Question Time, the BBC or new presenter Fiona Bruce – this incident happened on only her second show as chair – to recover their credibility and I can certainly foresee calls for the show to be scrapped and replaced with a less biased format in the future.

For those who don’t know what the row is about, not only did Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott lie to Ms Abbott that she was mistaken about Labour’s position in the national opinion polls…

(The BBC subsequently issued a clarification that managed to stop short of being an apology)

… but studio audience members have claimed a BBC employee and Ms Bruce stirred up feeling against Ms Abbott with prejudicial attempts at humour about her prior to recording of the programme. The BBC is believed to have recorded the pre-show warm-up but has refused to release this evidence.

Outraged Licence Fee-payers have been clamouring for an on-air apology ever since:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1088334992994983937

Will the BBC back down? Smart money says no.

Instead, it is likely the Corporation will double down on its position and hope the outcry dies down.

But the Labour Party has made a formal complaint and may escalate this to court action if it doesn’t get satisfaction.

The national publicity of a court case could do huge harm to the BBC’s reputation as an impartial public service broadcaster.

Can ‘Auntie’ afford it?

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The BBC gaslighted* the UK’s most-abused MP. Where’s the impartiality? Where’s the justice?

Diane Abbott: This is from a previous appearance on the BBC’s Question Time.

I think the BBC, Isobel Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce need to be prosecuted for the systematic, televised abuse of Diane Abbott. Don’t you?

Ms Abbott is the UK’s most-abused MP. It is beyond the pale that an organisation calling itself a public service broadcaster willingly participates in that abuse.

And it’s hardly an auspicious start for Ms Bruce’s tenure as chair that she presided over this abuse on only her second outing in the role.

Here’s the offending incident:

Momentum’s claim – that Ms Abbott was correct and Labour is neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in the polls, despite the combined efforts of the Tory-supporting media moguls – is borne out be recent poll results. See:

Notice the comment from Devutopia there: Christian Fraser on the BBC News Channel allowed a Tory stooge to say that party was “leading all the polls”, even though they weren’t.

Aaron Bastani of Novara Media adds wider context:

So it’s a campaign of disinformation by the BBC, it seems.

Survation, remember, was the only polling company that accurately predicted the result of the 2017 general election.

According to some audience members, sentiment against Ms Abbott was stoked before recording started. Here’s Jyoti Wilkinson:

Tonight I managed to wangle myself into the @bbcquestiontime audience. The way they stoked up the anti Dianne Abbott sentiment before hand was appalling – the BBC is in dire need of reform … The wangle was the fact I managed to get picked without having some underlying hatred of Dianne Abbott”.

The story is corroborated by Alison Martin:

The jeers against Diane Abbott were worse than could be heard on the broadcast; was some humour at Diane’s expense from BBC staff before the recording”.

Shocking.

Mr Bastani (again) provides a little second-hand information:

I’m told that prior to broadcast of tonight’s #bbcqt Fiona Bruce came out, introduced herself to audience and gave a 10 minute talk [this is normal for QT]. Proceeded to make jokes about Dianne Abbott which were ‘in reality appaling’ then in rehearsal the floor manager did the same thing [while this is definitely not]. Abysmal”.

There’s more evidence, as you can see from this Zelo Street article.

The BBC has denied claims that Ms Abbott was treated unfairly. According to the Mirror, a spokesperson said: “We firmly reject claims that any of the Question Time team treated any of the panel unfairly before and during the recording last night.”

Meanwhile the Express has insisted that Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott were right to say Labour is behind in the polls, producing the result of a new survey by Tory-supporting pollsters YouGov – from January 6 and 7, nearly a week before the date of the the Survation poll quoted above.

Perhaps Ms Bruce can’t read dates – in which case one has to question her suitability for a job chairing the BBC’s mainstay political panel show.

And Ms Abbott? She has accused the Question Time team of legitimising racist abuse.

I think she has a point and I would like to see an adjudication on it.

Evolve Politics thinks the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) should be asked to judge:

Having had personal experience of IPSO, I wouldn’t advise it unless you have the patience of a saint because it can take a long time and any recommended remedial action won’t be worth the wait.

My advice?

Take the BBC straight to court instead.

*”Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception… sanity” – Wikipedia.

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Voting with the Tories on ‘welfare’ will end any credibility Labour has left

George Osborne is a liar, from a party of liars - one only has to consider the UK's secret bombing of Syria - after Parliament voted against it - to see the truth in that.

George Osborne is a liar, from a party of liars – one only has to consider the UK’s secret bombing of Syria – after Parliament voted against it – to see the truth in that.

What an amazing piece in The Guardian about George Osborne’s call for “progressive” Labour MPs to support his entirely regressive changes to social security (the only people who call it “welfare” are Tories)!

Will people believe this pack of lies?

The article starts by saying he has urged “progressive” MPs in the Labour party to back his cuts in a major Commons vote today (Monday) on the Tories’ Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

He wants Labour MPs – but more importantly, the electorate, to think that the plan to cut child tax credits (among other measures) is what the public wants, and also builds on “mainstream Labour thinking”.

This is moonshine.

Labour believes that the profits of all our work should be shared out to ensure a decent standard of living for everybody, including those who cannot work but contribute to society in other ways. For example, if you have children, then you get child tax credits because their contribution to society has yet to be made.

Removing the tax credits and lowering the standard of living – as the Conservative chancellor’s plans would do to many people – is therefore the opposite of “mainstream Labour thinking”.

Osborne also calls on Labour to “stop blaming the public for its defeat”. This is typical Tory gaslighting. As a party, Labour has not blamed the public. The prevailing mood in the party is that Labour needs to draw the correct conclusions from the election result and create policies that acknowledge what the public wants, while fitting Labour values.

That’s real Labour values – not George Osborne’s fantasy.

You can tell that Labour isn’t doing as Osborne claims. Nowhere in the Guardian article is any factual evidence provided to show Labour has blamed the electorate for its defeat. Harriet Harman is paraphrased as having said the party needed to recognise that the electorate had sent Labour a message – which is quite the opposite.

Osborne also fails to support his claim that the majority of the electorate support his cuts. The majority of the electorate voted against the Conservative Party on May 7, with the Tories managing to gain only a 24.3 per cent share of the possible vote and a tiny 12-seat advantage in Parliament. That does not indicate majority support for the cuts programme.

The article states: “Osborne sprung a surprise in the budget by proposing cuts to the level of tax credits, but balanced these in part by a rise in the minimum wage to more than £9 an hour by 2020 for those over 25.” Notice that the tax credit cut is immediate, but the minimum wage will only rise to more than £9 per hour in five years’ time. How are people supposed to survive in the years between?

Also, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the cut in tax credits, along with the other cuts that ‘Slasher’ Osborne wants to make, will remove £12 billion from the economy – but the minimum wage rise – when it finally happens – will only add £4 billion.

So the Conservatives want Labour to support an £8 billion cut in living standards for the people who can least accommodate it.

Osborne’s argument that the responsibility for ensuring decent living standards should be rebalanced, from the state handing out subsidies towards employers providing decent wages, falls because he has no intention of making employers pay decent wages.

Osborne also writes: “Three in four people – and a majority of Labour voters – think that Britain spends too much on welfare.”

Are these the same people who think 41 per cent of the entire social security budget goes on unemployment benefits, when the actual proportion is just three per cent?

Are these the same people who think 27 per cent of the entire social security budget is claimed fraudulently, when the actual proportion is just 0.7 per cent?

Are these the people who believe George Osborne’s lies, and the lies of the Conservative Government?

In case anybody is wondering, the figures quoted above are from a TUC poll that was carried out a couple of years ago. It seems that, with the help of compliant media (such as The Guardian?) the Conservatives have succeeded in continuing to mislead the general public.

Osborne continued: “For our social contract to work, we need to retain the consent of the taxpayer, not just the welfare recipient.”

People receiving social security payments are also taxpayers; indirect taxation accounts for around three-quarters of the taxes received by the UK Treasury from the 20 per cent of people in the lowest income group.

The lies keep coming: “For those that can work, I believe it is better to earn a higher income from your work than receive a higher income from welfare.” If this was true, then he would have forced the minimum wage up to a point at which people would no longer need to claim tax credits in order to receive the same amount. He didn’t; he lied.

Osborne goes on to praise interim Labour leader Harriet Harman for capitulating to the Conservatives over child tax credits. There is only one reason he would do this – to undermine support for the Labour Party by suggesting that it really is ‘Tory-Lite’. Shame on Ms Harman for allowing this to happen!

His claim, “She recognised that oppositions only advance when they … recognise that some of the arguments made by political opponents should be listened to,” would be reasonable if the argument for cutting tax credits was sound, but it isn’t – people will be worse-off in this instance. If people were to become better-off afterwards, he might have a point. As it is, it is drivel.

His very next point confirms this: “A previous Conservative opposition realised [this] 15 years ago when it accepted the case for a minimum wage.” The Conservative Party only accepted this case in 2008, under David Cameron – a Tory leader who, when campaigning unsuccessfully for the Stafford constituency seat in 1996, had said it would “send unemployment straight back up” (The Chronicle (Stafford), February 21 1996). Even now, many Tory supporters despise the minimum wage.

Osborne ended with an appeal for “moderate” Labour MPs to vote with his party.

That would be the end of any credibility Labour has remaining, as a party of Opposition.

According to The Guardian, Osborne said: “The proposals are part of a common endeavour by Labour and the Conservatives to implement difficult welfare reforms.” Again, he is trying to make the public think Labour and the Tories are the same. Labour MPs would have to be complete idiots to help him.

Some of the complete idiots in Labour who have already helped him are, according to Osborne, “New Labour work and pensions secretaries such as John Hutton, David Blunkett and James Purnell [who] all tried to reform the welfare system… Alistair Darling [who] says tax credits are ‘subsidising lower wages in a way that was never intended’ [and] Frank Field… [who] agrees the system as it stands is simply ‘not sustainable’ and the budget represents a ‘game-changer’.”

Wouldn’t social security be a little more sustainable if George Osborne spent less time obsessing about wringing more money from those who can least afford to lose it, and more time getting his extremely rich corporate friend to pay up more of the £120 billion a year they are believed to owe in unpaid taxes?

Why isn’t Labour making this point, whenever Tories like Osborne start bleating that anything is “unsustainable”?

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