Tag Archives: gather

Going, going, Gove: the Tory hypocrite who’ll break international law but demands we obey his ‘Rule of Six’

Spitting Image: Michael Gove’s likeness on the new version of the satirical comedy appears to have certain male genital organs for cheeks – which is entirely appropriate as he was talking a lot of b*ll*cks on TV today.

Michael Gove appeared on breakfast TV, to demand that we all – including our children, obey his government’s new prohibition of social gatherings of more than six people.

Why should we obey this, when he went on to admit that the government itself will break international law and turn the UK into a rogue state that no other country will trust?

I don’t have a clip of him calling on us to obey the ‘Rule of Six’ – which is a stupid demand that won’t stop the now-uncontrollable spread of Covid-19 because it does not target the causes of that spread.

If our friends and family had Covid-19, we would have already caught it, so going out with them makes no difference.

We are still legally allowed to go out on our own and sit in pubs and restaurants that are packed with strangers – any or all of whom may have the virus – but the new rule does not take this into account.

Here’s a link to an article in which Gove accepts responsibility for this act of criminal stupidity:

do have a clip of Gove voicing his support for unqualified Attorney General Suella Braverman, whose defence of Boris Johnson’s decision to break international law by reneging on the EU Withdrawal Agreement in his Internal Markets Bill was comprehensively destroyed on This Site, only days ago. Here he is:

Here’s the appropriate response:

Gove also said the EU was “threatening the integrity of the United Kingdom” by demanding that Boris Johnson honours the withdrawal agreement he signed in January.

Oh, really? That’s not what the Tories said at the time…

… and nobody was fooled by this blatant bid to gaslight the nation:

In fact This Writer can only fault the Twittersphere on one point: those who accused Gove of turning blond to acknowledge his Aryan/fascist/Nazi supporters appear to be colourblind.

His hair has gone grey. And I’m not surprised.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Detention of leftie journo’s sister shows police are letting themselves be political tools AGAIN

Political activist: Eleanor Jones.

This is disgraceful.

As the story shows, Eleanor Jones is a political activist – but there’s nothing wrong with that.

She is also the sister of leftie journalist Owen Jones, and that makes this story even more sinister – in the opinion of This Writer.

Are the police using anti-terror legislation to gather information on the political enemies of the current (Tory) government?

That would be a misuse of their powers. But when police can arrest people who are not under suspicion, and don’t have to divulge the information they possess about those people, how can anything be proven?

Clearly the law is inadequate and the public need proper protection.

A political activist has accused Police Scotland of “disgraceful” treatment after officers used controversial anti-terror powers to detain and question her for hours at Edinburgh Airport.

Eleanor Jones, who had been in Edinburgh to attend her grandfather’s funeral, said she felt “violated” after handing over her mobile phone and laptop passwords to the officers.

She was also quizzed about the political beliefs of family members, including her twin brother Owen, who is a high-profile columnist for the Guardian.

Her treatment has fuelled calls for a rethink of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – the legislation used by the single force – which gives police sweeping powers in an airport.

The force was able to detain Jones in this way due to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The legislation’s notorious Schedule 7 gives police huge powers to stop, search and hold individuals at ports, airports and international rail stations.

It can be invoked without an individual being suspected of involvement in criminal activity and there is no right to remain silent.

Officers can detain a person for hours and retain their belongings for up to seven days. It is an offence to wilfully fail to comply with a request made by an officer under this legislation.

Jones said Police Scotland was responsible for a “misuse of the Act” in her case and said the legislation was used as a “power tool”. She added: “Being an activist is not the same thing as terrorism.”

She added that the force will not tell her what, if any, information Police Scotland retains on her.

Source: Revealed: how Police Scotland treated a political activist like a terrorist | HeraldScotland


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Evidence states Murdoch knew about bribery of officials – so why isn’t he in the dock?

Inscrutable: But does this impassive visage mask knowledge about corruption in newspaper journalism going back at least 40 years?

Inscrutable: But does this impassive visage mask knowledge about corruption in newspaper journalism going back at least 40 years?

Rupert Murdoch has known for decades that his newspaper reporters were bribing public officials, according to an audio recording reported on the Exaro News website.

It seems the media mogul made the comments in March, in a private meeting with a group of journalists from The Sun who had been arrested over allegations of illegal news-gathering – including payments to police and other public officials for information.

In the recording, a Sun journalist asks: “I’m pretty confident that the working practices that I’ve seen here are ones that I’ve inherited, rather than instigated. Would you recognise that all this pre-dates many of our involvement here?”

Murdoch replies: “We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops; that’s been going on a hundred years, absolutely. You didn’t instigate it.”

At another time, he says: “It was the culture of Fleet Street.”

The full story, and a transcript of the recording, are on the Exaro News site, but the revelation raises serious questions about the phone-tapping trial of Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others, which is currently taking place.

If Brooks and Coulson are on trial for allowing corrupt and illegal practices in their newspapers, why not Murdoch?

And what are the implications for David Cameron, the Prime Minister who may have allowed this kind of corruption into Downing Street?

Information Commissioner to decide about DWP deaths

The price we pay for a Conservative-led Department for Work and Pensions: While ministers stall demands for information, the death toll increases.

The price we pay for a Conservative-led Department for Work and Pensions: While ministers stall demands for information, the death toll increases. [Image: Eric Hart]

This will be no surprise to anyone:

The Department for Work and Pensions has stuck to its boneheaded reason for refusing to say how many people have died because of its policies.

Readers may remember (it is now a long time ago!) that Vox Political submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department, back in June, asking for details of the number of Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have died in 2012 – including deaths of those who had been thrown off-benefit altogether, if such information was held.

This request was refused on the specious grounds that it was “vexatious”. The DWP officer making the refusal cited as his reason, not any part of the request itself, but the last line of the blog entry about it, stating “I strongly urge you to do the same. There is strength in numbers”.

The DWP decision-maker used this to claim that the request “is designed to harass DWP in the belief that encouraging others to repeat a request which they know has already been raised will affect the outcome of that request” and stated very clearly that this was “the stated aim of the exercise”.

In other words, the Department decided to squirm out of its responsibility by making a false claim about something that was not even part of the request.

A demand for reconsideration was soon wending its way on electric wings to the DWP, pointing out a few home truths from the Information Commissioner’s guidance notes on “Dealing with vexatious requests”, refuting the position the Department had chosen to take.

The guidance states that a public authority must have reason to believe that several different requesters are “acting in concert as part of a campaign to disrupt the organisation”. In this instance, “acting in concert” does not cover a sentence at the end of a blog entry suggesting that people who feel the same way about an issue might like to do something about it. That is perverse.

The guidance also states that “it is important to bear in mind that sometimes a large number of individuals will independently ask for information on the same subject because an issue is of media or local interest”. Media interest must include mention in a blog that is read up to 100,000 times a month, and the DWP decision-maker had clearly failed to recognise that people can only take action on a issue when they know it exists and have been told there is something they can do!

The reconsideration demand also quotes examples of evidence an authority might cite in support of its case that a request is vexatious, such as whether other requesters have been copied in or mentioned in email correspondence – in other words, can it be proved that these co-conspirators are working together? Nobody involved with Vox Political knows of any other request made “in concert” with our own, and the direct question to the DWP, “Have you received such correspondence?” went unanswered. We must therefore assume they have not.

ICO guidance also states that a website must make an explicit reference to a campaign. Vox Political did not.

The only logical conclusion is that the request – and any others that followed it – were “genuinely directed at gathering information” – according to ICO guidance. In that circumstance, the only reason the DWP could legally use to refuse the request is that it would “cause a disproportionate and unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress” – which it cannot prove as the information is available to it, and would only have to be collated once. After that, distribution to anyone requesting it would be easy, via email.

The response that arrived today was written by someone “of a senior grade to the person who dealt with your request previously” but who appears to be so ashamed of their own response that they have failed to legitimise it with their own name.

This person stated: “The guidance on vexatious requests encompasses a range of activities including requestors [sic] acting in concert to repeatedly request the same information. Thus I uphold the original decision.”

No information was provided to support this claim, therefore it is irrelevant and the DWP is in breach of the Freedom of Information Act.

The matter will now go to the Information Commissioner who will, in time, make mincemeat of the DWP arguments.

But it will take time.

This is what the Department wants, of course – time. Time to continue with its dangerous policies, which are deeply harmful to the unemployed, the sick and the disabled and have caused many, many thousands of deaths. It seems clear that ministers want this… ‘social cleansing’, you could call it… to continue for as long as possible and do as much harm as possible.

Curiously, the Director of Public Prosecutions may have just shot them in the foot.

The DPP, Keir Starmer QC, has declared that anyone found to be cheating on benefits in England and Wales could face longer jail terms of up to 10 years, after he issued guidance that they should be prosecuted under the Fraud Act rather than social security laws.

He clearly hasn’t considered the possible advantages of this for people who would otherwise face an uncertain future of destitution, worsening health and even imminent death if their benefits are refused. To them, a term in jail might seem like absolute luxury.

What greater incentive could there be for someone to lie extravagantly about their situation on a benefit form than the possibiity of losing everything, including their life, if they don’t get the money? If the alternatives were imprisonment or death, what do you think a person on the danger line would take?

This blog therefore predicts an increase in the UK prison intake due to benefit fraud.

And here’s the funny part: Mr Starmer said it was time for a “tough stance” because the cost of benefit fraud to the nation is £1.9 billion (he was wrong; in fact it’s only £1.2 billion, unless new figures have been released).

One year’s ESA costs the state around £5772, while a year’s imprisonment costs £37,163 – in other words, prison costs the taxpayer six times as much as the benefit. At that price, the DPP could imprison only 51,126 people before the cost of imprisoning them exceeds the cost of fraud – according to his own figures.

Of the 2.5 million people claiming ESA, the DWP is busy throwing 70 per cent off-benefit – that’s 1.7 million people who could justifiably be accused of benefit fraud and imprisoned. Total cost to the taxpayer: £63,177,100,000 per year.

Meanwhile, £12 billion in benefits goes unclaimed every year.

It seems this Conservative-led Coa-lamity of a government can’t even get its sums right.