Tag Archives: genocide

Viewers of BBC Universal Credit documentary deride it as ‘systematic genocide’

Faceless: Universal Credit is an attempt to avoid treating benefit claimants as people. It is easier to deprive you of everything if they don’t have to think of you as a person.

The latest Tory propaganda effort to promote Universal Credit is not going well, it seems, with viewers labelling the policy “systematic genocide”.

This Site has already commented on the fact that employees at Liverpool’s Toxteth Job Centre didn’t want to appear on the show, because they did not want to be associated with government propaganda.

Now it seems viewers of the programme have rejected claims that Universal Credit helps anybody claiming it – voicing particular horror at the story of a 61-year-old woman who was forced to work three jobs, just to make ends meet.

61-year-old claimant Sue was shown struggling to survive on egg and baked beans after losing her job and being told her benefits would be reduced if she didn’t get 35 hours’ work a week.

@PurpleDon1973 said: “That poor woman. Susan, made redundant, 61 years old. 61 and expected to take on two or three jobs. Landed a job for 10 hours a week and jobcentre still on her back. 61 years old. Ffs.”

Another [viewer] described Universal Credit as “systematic genocide”.

Ant C said there are times he’s needed to claim Universal Credit “but was made to feel so ashamed I quickly withdrew my application”.

“No compassion whatsoever!” he said.

Some viewers were annoyed at the upbeat solutions to the case studies, suggesting the overall programme is actually more about government “propaganda” than showing the brutal realities at their worst.

JJ Wyatt said: “This show smacks of propaganda, the Universal Credit system is deliberately designed to punish and coerce.”

Source: Viewers slam Universal Credit as ‘systematic genocide’ after BBC documentary – Mirror Online

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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Here’s why people are afraid to denounce the genocidal brutality of the Israeli regime

Benjamin Netanyahu: He seems to think murdering Arabs is great fun.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

And some, it seems, examine the worst horrors with notepad in hand, keen to work out how they can achieve the same and get away with it.

So we come to the atrocities of the nation of Israel.

If the people of Gaza, imprisoned behind the apartheid wall imposed by Israel, may be likened to the inmates of a concentration camp – and I think they can…

And if their only defence against the Israel Defence Force thugs who murdered them on Monday was slings and stones – and I think it was…

Then it seems clear that Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a little Holocaust, all of his own, against the Palestinian people.

I know – accusing Israel of behaviour similar to that of Nazi Germany is an anti-Semitic trope. We’re all told we must not do it.

But that implies responsibility on the part of that country – not to emulate the Nazis in any way. It is a responsibility that the current Israeli government has scorned.

Netanyahu and his cronies are attacking Palestinian people purely because of who they are, and the fact that they live on land and occupy property he wants to steal.

A statement is not anti-Semitic if it is factually correct. And it is factually correct that Benjamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel are carrying out the racist, Islamophobic extermination of the Palestinian people.

The massacre of nearly 60 unarmed Palestinians – with more than 2,000 injured – is just the latest item on that agenda.

That it should happen on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel as a nation only amplifies the crime. What happened – did Mr Netanyahu wake up and say to himself, “This is a great day – I think I’ll celebrate by murdering some Arabs”? That is, after all, what he did.

And what response does he receive from the international community and the media? Silence – or unrestrained approval.

It seems the threat of being labelled “anti-Semite” hangs heavily on some. To my colleagues in the mainstream media who don’t have the guts to stand up against brutality, I say: Shame on you. You disgrace us all.

Of course, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel is also the 70th anniversary of the day Palestinians were turfed off land that had previously been theirs. They call it the Nakba, which means “catastrophe”:

Self-governing Palestinian territories like Gaza are entirely reliant on Israel for their water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities – and the Israeli government has been starving Gaza of all of them. The Israeli government has turned Gaza into a ghetto.

We are told that around 40,000 Gazans have gathered at the fence that separates the territory from Israel. Israeli officials are pushing propaganda that states these people may rush on the fence in protest at their enclosure and effective imprisonment, and Israeli news channels are dutifully reporting that Hamas is using these people – rather than using the more likely explanation that these people are airing legitimate grievances.

In any case, if the Israeli government wants to talk about self-defence, we can always remind its representatives of the moment two months ago when video footage emerged of an Israeli Defence Force sniper shooting a Palestinian civilian deadfor fun.

If you want to know more about the attitude of the Israeli government, consider this hideous hag:

If you’re thinking, “Hang on, Mike, she’s really pretty!” think again. This is Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament). You may find it bitterly ironic that she is currently Israel’s serving Minister of Justice, considering the fact that she broadcasts vile racism on her Facebook page.

For example, in 2014 she wrote: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

“They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists.”

Do you think she’s pretty now?

Notice the dehumanisation of Palestinians as “snakes”. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has a poster on its website detailing the 10 stages of genocide, one of which is “dehumanisation”. “The Nazis referred to Jews as ‘vermin’,” it states. Those who would accuse others of anti-Semitism would be quick to leap on anybody who made such comparisons today. But they remain happy for Israeli politicians to refer to Palestinians as “snakes”.

At the ceremony to mark the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, this woman accused Hamas, the Islamist party which rules the Strip, of “sacrificing its people as part of a PR effort”. What, is she trying to pretend Hamas killed an injured all those people? Israeli fingers were on the triggers. It seems clear that it is the Israeli government making the PR effort.

And failing, if there’s any justice in the world. Notice that Ms Shaked’s words fulfil another of the 10 stages of genocide: Denial.

Here’s the reality:

But, thanks to creeps like Ms Shaked, people feel justified in coming out with rubbish like Joe Stal’s comment below:

https://twitter.com/stal_joe/status/996382643917852673

He got what he deserved:

What about Israeli government spokeswoman Michal Maayan, who advocated genocide because, “We can’t put all of these people in jail”?

Thank goodness Jeremy Corbyn is man enough to call an atrocity out for what it is:

But then, like myself, Mr Corbyn has already been accused by those who tar their enemies with the brush of anti-Semitism. What does he have to lose?

Notice that Theresa May – whose Conservative government sells arms to countries like Israel, in order to help them commit such vile crimes – remains silent. It seems it is up to Mr Corbyn to lead the call for international law and justice.

Appallingly, the Jewish Chronicle is reporting that Tory ex-Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, “chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, outlined its support for Israel’s right to defend itself from attempts to breach the Gaza border while accusing Hamas of “manipulating the citizens of Gaza”.

The United States – the country that likes to portray itself as the world’s police service – has blocked a United Nations motion for an investigation into the massacre. Don’t you think that a little suspicious?

On Tuesday (May 15), MPs gathered outside Parliament to protest against the slaughter:

When you consider the total number of MPs in Parliament – and what about the Lords? – it’s a pathetically small number. Presumably the others left their spines at home. One of them was Labour’s Grahame Morris:

Unfortunately these efforts have been totally undermined by the – at best – misguided efforts of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), an organisation set up to support the government of that country, no matter what it does.

In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s massacre, LFI released a statement on Twitter that attempted to put the blame for Palestinians being shot by Israelis entirely on Hamas:

The tweet, blaming the Gazans for their own deaths, has been roundly condemned and has since been deleted – without comment. But the damage to LFI has been done and the Labour Party is being urged to reject the organisation. This may present a problem for MPs and other Labour representatives who are members:

The LFI’s director tweeted similar propaganda – and took it down with similar haste:

I would like to know the opinion of ordinary Israeli citizens about the massacre – and that of Jews around the world.

Are they not as horrified as the rest of us by this outrage committed by the Israeli government?

That is what many of us want to see:

Here’s one Jew who thoroughly disapproves:

And he has found evidence that Israelis are indeed appalled by the actions of their government:

Here’s another:

https://twitter.com/maxberger/status/996056635708723200

As for the rest of us – well, see for yourself:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/996171241491968000

I could go on and on but I think the point is made.

I await another wave of fake-outraged claims of anti-Semitism against me. Members of the Campaign Against Antisemitism are probably salivating as they type their latest screed.

But, as I said at the start, it isn’t anti-Semitic to point out a blindingly obvious fact.

In fact, let’s see a few more people highlighting the Netanyahu government’s racism, Islamophobia and genocide – starting with the UK government, the ‘Friends of Israel’ movements, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and everybody else who claims to speak for Judaism around the world.

And while we’re about it – what’s holding the tongues of all the reporters at the BBC?


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Uncomfortable facts that should be addressed – not just on Holocaust Memorial Day but every day

A woman and a man at the memorial plaque at Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany [Image: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images].

Here‘s a worthwhile article on the Beastrabban blog, making an important point about the way the scope of Holocaust Memorial Day seems to have been limited.

Today is, I believe, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world, or at least the Western world, reflects on the Shoah and the calculated extermination of six million Jews.

As we commemorate the sufferings of the Jews during the Nazi regime, we also need to take on board that it isn’t just about anti-Semitism, but about similar horrors that have disfigured human history down the centuries, and murderous, criminal regimes that are perpetrating them today.

Just so. The Nazi Holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews, and the way in which they were murdered, should never be forgotten. But part of this remembrance must involve recognition that similar hate-motivated atrocities can happen – and are happening – even now.

Unfortunately, there are some highly vocal people who seem to want to mask this fact, as we have seen on This Site over the last few days.

Holocaust Remembrance Day isn’t just about commemorating the Holocaust and its victims, but other genocides and their victims that have occurred throughout history. Hitler partly made his decision to go ahead with the extermination of the Jews because of the complete lack of western reaction to the Young Turks’ massacre of the Armenians. He commented, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ And before then, the German colonial authorities in what is now Tanganyika had attempted to exterminate the Herrero after they revolted, using similar eugenicist logic.

It is … important to remember the other victims of the Nazi camps as well.

This included the congenitally disabled, who were murdered by Nazi doctors under the Aktion T4 programme with the assistance and supervision of the SS… This prefigured and prepared for the murder of the Jews, particularly in the use of poison gas.

I made the point that disabled people are being persecuted to their deaths by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom – right now – in a response to comments in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 24).

And what initial response did I receive?

Denial. And denial is one of the ten stages of genocide, as we all know from the Holocaust Memorial Day website. Right?

The Nazis also attempted to exterminate the Romanies – the Gypsies – as they too were considered, like the Jews, to be subhuman and a threat to German society and racial industry.

Other victims of the camps included the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and political prisoners, such as trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, gay men, and slave workers from the Slav nations. The last were worked to death in horrific conditions, including building the Nazi fortifications and tunnels in the Channel Islands.

The Holocaust Memorial Day website devotes a couple of paragraphs on a page to these victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The highest estimate of the death figures shows they outnumber Jewish victims by a ratio of nearly two to one.

The website also devotes several pages each to the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda, and mentions the atrocities against Armenians which encouraged Hitler to commit his own.

It omits many other genocides, both recent and historical.

Nothing is said about the indigenous people of America, for example. Those of you who are aware of the HMD website may not even know there is a site for Aztec Natives, which makes the following pertinent point:

“The Mexican people are the descendants and the end product of five centuries of genocide – the greatest Holocaust in human history. Over 100 million of our ancestors, i.e. at least 90% of natives were killed.”

100 million dead, and no commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day. It seems some groups have stronger public relations people than others.

Genocides have continued to be perpetrated, such as the various crimes against humanity committed by Fascist regimes across Latin America, Asia and Africa, supported by American foreign policy. The persecution of the Rohingya is just the latest of these.

Isn’t it interesting how we can identify the wrongdoings of people in other countries, yet we say nothing about what’s happening in our own? “It couldn’t happen here”, as the saying goes.

It has; it does; it is.

Those who deny it are complicit.

Fortunately, the Beastrabban piece provides a ray of hope. We see that not everybody supports the overwhelming concentration of attention on the Nazi Holocaust, and it is important to note that Jewish scholars are among those leading the way in this regard.

And Jews have been involved in protesting and commemorating them and their victims as well. In Canada, the leader of the mainstream Jewish organisation, Bernie Farber, organised a ‘Shabbat for Darfur’ after that city was attacked by the Islamist Janjaweed Militia in the early part of this century. Farber’s generous action has been bitterly criticised by members of the transatlantic conservative Right, who feel that Jews should concentrate solely on their own sufferings in the Holocaust, and not expand their experience of suffering, persecution and attempted genocide to form solidarity with the other persecuted ethnic and religious groups.

Why not form solidarity with other persecuted groups? We all know there is strength in numbers. Is it because making such connections might reveal uncomfortable truths about events closer to home?

Israeli scholars have also noted that the Holocaust, while horrific, was not a unique event. See Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny, the executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust, Jerusalem, and Director of Postgraduate Interdisplinary and Graduate Social Work Programs in Family, Therapy, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. Dr. Charny’s book also includes a chapter on the ethnic cleansing of Israel’s indigenous Arab population, which is definitely unwelcome to the Likudniks.

But it bears out Ilan Pappe’s assertion that Israelis are still decent people, who need to have the situation and issues properly explained to them. But odiously, Netanyahu, Likud and other ethno-nationalists in his ruling coalition are doing all they can to prevent that occurring. As are his little helpers over here in the shape of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Food for thought, I hope. But I wonder if critics of This Site and This Writer will be able to forgive me for including more groups in my own commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day than they do.

Source: Wishing Everyone a Solemn and Reflective Holocaust Remembrance Day | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


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Holocaust Memorial Day tweet triggers hate-filled denial of disability-related deaths

Julie Hull (above) is the kind of person who wants the author of This Site condemned as an anti-Semite.

My word.

This Writer’s experience after Prime Minister’s Questions today demonstrates the danger of publishing unwise words – and I don’t mean my own.

At the very start of the session, Theresa May said: “I am sure that Members throughout the House will wish to join me in marking Holocaust Memorial Day this Saturday and in remembering all those who endured such appalling suffering in the holocaust.”

In fact, she seems to have made a common mistake, that HMD commemorates only the genocides perpetrated by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945. This is a falsehood. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn went some way towards correcting this as he stood to ask his first question: “I join the Prime Minister in commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. Many Members will be signing the book of remembrance and attending the event tomorrow. We have to teach all generations that the descent into Nazism and the holocaust must never, ever be repeated anywhere on this planet.”

But of course it has been repeated – again and again. It is hard to describe the horror of the Shoah (as Jewish people describe the Nazi holocaust), but we have witnessed many occasions in which the same has been attempted against other ethnic groups.

The Cambodian genocide in the 1970s took anything up to three million lives. In Rwanda, in 1994, the highest estimate of the death toll is one million. In 1971, up to three million people were killed in Bangladesh.

There are smaller genocides, too. But are they to be treated with less horror, less revulsion, just because fewer people died? In East Timor between 1975 and 199, up to 200,000 people lost their lives. Are any of those lives less important than those lost between 1939 and 1945, or in Cambodia, or in Bangladesh? A similar number died in Somalia between 1988 and 1991. Were those lives any less important? What about the 200,000 Kurds said to have died in Iraq between 1986 and 1989? Or the 166,000 in Guatemala between 1962 and 1996?

Or the 30-40,000 deaths in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? I was in Bosnia with a charity trying to help rebuild, in 1997. The things I saw, and the accounts of the people I met, will stay with me until the day I die.

What about the thousands of people who are understood to have died as a result of Conservative policies to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities since 2010?

They didn’t happen, according to people on Twitter today (January 24).

Perhaps it was unwise, considering the tidal wave of hate against me that has been swelling on Twitter over (false) claims of anti-Semitism that have been made against me – but I have been campaigning for many years against the Tory policy to push sick and disabled people to their deaths, and this was an opportunity I could not pass up.

So I tweeted:

Can open. Worms everywhere.

First, there are those who deny that people with long-term illnesses and disabilities are being pushed to their deaths by Tory policies.

Here’s one now – Julie Hull:

I’ll repeat her words, in case she chooses to delete the tweet later. She wrote: “A vile comment and equally grotesquely insulting to Conservatives, to true victims of genocides, and to the disabled. You and this kind of ‘kinder gentler politics’ bring shame on the party you pretend to love.”

Strong words. But it wasn’t clear what they actually meant, so I had to seek clarity. I asked: “Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Tory policies?”

And she wrote: “Yes.”

Outrageous.

So Tory spending cuts in health and social care didn’t lead to the deaths of nearly 120,000 people since 2010 – mostly older people and those whose health issues mean they live in care homes? That will be news to the authors of this study, published by the British Medical Journal.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t cause a “human catastrophe” for sick and disabled people in the UK? That will be news to the United Nations.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t lead to the unexplained deaths of at least 2,400 people between 2011 and 2014? That would be news to me.

(If you click on the link, you’ll see it refers to fewer than 2,400 deaths. This is because the Conservative government at first tried to withhold some information from me. The remaining facts were provided later, under the cosh of the UK Statistics Authority).

And what of the other deaths? You see, the Department for Work and Pensions only records the deaths of claimants up to around two weeks after a decision is made to cut their benefits. Many, many people have died after that period – due to a number of causes.

Who can forget David Clapson, a former soldier who died of diabetic ketoacidosis caused by severe lack of insulin, three weeks after his benefits were stopped – for missing one meeting at the Job Centre. He had no money to pay for the electricity to keep his fridge working, meaning the insulin he kept there became useless. At the time of his death, he had no food in his stomach at all. A pile of CVs was found next to his body. His death was not recorded by the DWP as it occurred after the Department’s two-week limit.

How about Michael O’Sullivan, who was driven to suicide bids after being found “fit for work” by the Department for Work and Pensions? A coroner, Mary Hassall, made it clear that she considered the DWP – and therefore the Conservative government – to have triggered his suicide.

There are many more incidents. If you have the stamina for it, try going through the list of articles on the subject, published on This Site alone.

And for anyone who still doubts that the Conservative government and its policies had anything to do with the deaths, bear in mind that the benefit assessment interview for both ESA and PIP includes a query about whether the claimant has ever considered suicide.

If they say “yes”, the next question is: “Why haven’t you done it?” Can you honestly tell yourself that a person with mental health problems, who has already considered suicide, won’t take that as a demand that they take their own life?

It’s called “chequebook euthanasia”. And yes, you can trace its roots back to Nazi Germany.

Oh, but never mind any of the evidence that has been amassed since 2010. Julie Hull says there’s no connection between the deaths of sick and disabled people and the Conservative government, so that’s all right then.

Is it? Really?

The other aspect of this is the following claim, repeated many times over the last few hours:

Beth Rosenberg wrote: “Minimising of the Holocaust is antisemitic, which you know and are doing deliberately to cause offence.”

Two points:

  1. I have not minimised any Holocaust.
  2. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates many holocausts and genocides, not just what happened to the Jewish people.

The first point should be self-evident from what I have written above. If anything, my critics are minimising the deaths of sick and disabled people currently taking place here in the UK – and that is unforgivable.

It is possible that the people complaining to me misunderstand the terms. For example:

“What a vile human being,” tweeted Jonny Braham. “Someone needs to look up the definition of #Genocide.”

So I did – on the Holocaust Memorial Day website. I responded: “HMD website: “The Convention [The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide] defines genocide as … causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group… deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” among others.”

That reply defies belief: “Ah ok so the tories made all these people disabled & now wants to wipe them out, I reiterate my previous tweet, you’re a vile human being.”

Who said anything about the Tories making anybody disabled?

As for the rest of it – we were discussing genocide and I provided the information requested of me.

Oh, and yes – I referred to holocausts in the plural. Look up the definition – this one is from the Oxford Dictionary:

“holocaust
“noun
  1. 1.
    “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.”

My insistence on this definition will become clear, later in this article.

As for the second: The tweet I’ve quoted makes it very clear that the person attacking me believes Holocaust Memorial Day to refer specifically to the genocide committed against Jewish people by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. So does this one, from the same person:

She wrote: “The mythology from the left compared to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews.”

So HMD refers only to the Shoah and not to any other such events, according to Ms Rosenberg. Oh, and the deaths of thousands of people with long-term illnesses and disabilities have not happened, in her opinion.

Here’s S. Nicholson:

“How dare you compare the systematic murder of millions of people with the fairy tale claim that controlling benefits is damaging?”

“Fairy tale”?

Christina Wallis tweeted: “That’s probably the most deluded and disgusting comment I’ve ever seen on Twitter. How dare you.”

I responded: “In what way? Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Conservative Party policy? If so, on what basis? Have you read the information available on this subject (there’s a lot)? Or are you just trying to attack me?”

Her reply:

https://twitter.com/xtinewallis/status/956252907653025793

“I just find it upsetting that you’re using an atrocity that lead to the death of six million people, including members of my family to make a political point. I wasn’t attacking you, I’ve never attacked anyone in my life.”

Oh, is that right? It seemed like an attack.

So we’ve established that the people quoted above consider the Holocaust to be the atrocity committed by Nazi Germany against Jewish people, and I am an anti-Semite for suggesting anything else.

I draw attention to it because, back in September 2016, former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker was suspended by the Labour Party after members of the Jewish Labour Movement complained that she was an anti-Semite, for believing exactly the same thing.

According to The Independent:

“In terms of Holocaust Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?” she said at a training workshop on dealing with antisemitism at Momentum’s conference.

A number of people in the room immediately spoke out against Ms Walker’s comments and told her that Holocaust Memorial Day already included commemoration of other genocides. She responded: “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”

Look at Theresa May’s words, quoted above. Look at Jeremy Corbyn’s. It is clear that they are referring to the Nazi atrocity. Together with the tweets above, I would say there is evidence that Ms Walker has a point.

Wouldn’t you?

For those who posted your hate messages in the hope that you would condemn me: At least you’ve done your bit to get Ms Walker’s suspension lifted.

For clarity, Holocaust Memorial Day does commemorate other atrocities – in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. That means it leaves out many, many other such horrific events. Ms Walker, if I recall correctly, was unhappy that transatlantic slavery is not mentioned.

Fortunately, there were people who were willing to stand up and be counted on my side too:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/956140471578918913

One more thing: The Holocaust Memorial Day website has an image entitled “The ten stages of genocide”, which I’ll reproduce below:

As you can see, the Conservatives are well on their way with their genocide of people with illnesses and disabilities.

Stage One – Classification, Stage Four – Dehumanisation and Stage Six – Polarisation have already been implemented, with government and their tame media encouraging their supporters to ostracise those who have long-term illnesses and/or disabilities, and to refer to them as “scroungers”, “skivers” and worse. The Tories have the Daily Mail, among other rags, to spread their hate.

Attempts have been made at Stage Two – Symbolisation, with the bid to make disabled people wear badges on the London Underground. On the face of it, this was to allow them access to facilities for the disabled, but advocates for disabled people warned that it would make them targets for people who had been indoctrinated with the hatred symbolised by Stage One and Stage Four.

Stage Three – Discrimination is exactly why the United Nations criticised the UK government several years ago. The government was found guilty of “grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities”.

Stage Five – Organisation is covered by the Department for Work and Pensions. You see, violence doesn’t have to be carried out with guns these days – it can be done with a keystroke when a benefit claimant is deprived of their allowance. The assessment system for ESA and PIP assumes either that illness and/or disability is all in the mind, or that the claimant is trying to avoid working for a living, and current information has it that the government wants to clear 80 per cent of claimants from the benefit books.

Deprived of their means of survival, sick/disabled people are left to their own devices. They can’t claim Jobseekers’ Allowance – as directed by the DWP – because they would be sanctioned very quickly when their illness made it impossible for them to meet one or more of the conditions required of someone searching for a job. So they starve to death like David Clapson, or commit suicide, like Michael O’Sullivan, and the government can deny any responsibility, in accordance with Stage Ten – Denial.

We have already seen the Conservatives deny any wrong-doing to the United Nations; we know they do not collect information about the well-being of former sickness and disability benefit claimants who have been cut off by their cruel assessment system.

That’s how the Tory genocide of the sick and disabled works. If you denied it before reading this article, please reconsider your position.

The phrase most commonly associated with the Holocaust inflicted by the Nazis is “Never again”.

The fact is, since 1945, such events have happened again and again.

It is outrageous that I should be vilified for pointing it out.

Postscript: Believe it or not, I received the following after publishing this article:

https://twitter.com/kb32904/status/956339570915889152

“People die – it’s the way of the world” has to be one of the most sickening attempts to justify the Tory persecution of sick and disabled people that I have yet seen.


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Tory austerity may be responsible for one of history’s worst genocides

[Image: @ukdemockery.]


People really do have short memories.

Prominent in some news media at the moment is a report in the British Medical Journal that health and social care spending cuts by the Conservatives in government since 2010 have led to 120,000 excess – read “needless” – deaths.

The BMJ states:

The squeeze on public finances since 2010 is linked to nearly 120,000 excess deaths in England, with the over 60s and care home residents bearing the brunt, reveals the first study of its kind, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

“The critical factor in these figures may be changes in nurse numbers, say the researchers, who warn that there could be an additional toll of up to 100 deaths every day from now on in.

“Between 2010 and 2014, the NHS in England has only had a real term annual increase in government funding of 1.3 per cent, despite rising patient demand and healthcare costs.

“And real term spend on social care has fallen by 1.19 per cent every year during the same period, despite a significant projected increase in the numbers of over 85s–those most likely to need social care–from 1.6 million in 2015 to 1.8 million in 2020, say the researchers.

“The spending restraints were associated with 45,368 excess deaths between 2010 and 2014 compared with equivalent trends before 2010.

“Most of these deaths were among the over 60s and care home residents. And every £10 drop in spend per head on social care was associated with five extra care home deaths per 100,000 of the population, the analysis showed.

“These associations remained after further detailed analysis and taking account of global and national economic factors.

“Changes in the numbers of hospital and community nurses were the most salient factors in the associations found between spend and care home deaths. From 2001 to 2010 nurse numbers rose by an average of 1.61% every year, but from 2010 to 2014 rose by just 0.07%–20 times lower than in the previous decade.

“On the basis of the trends between 2009 and 2014, the researchers estimate that an extra 152,141 people could die between 2015 and 2020, equivalent to nearly 100 extra deaths every day.

“The funds needed to close this ‘mortality gap’ would be £6.3 billion every year, or a total of £25.3 billion, they calculate.”

That’s nearly 200,000 people likely to have died needlessly between 2010 and 2020, due to Tory cuts in social care, and affecting mostly people aged over 60 and care home residents.

Those figures are bad enough – but we seem to have forgotten the deaths caused by the Department for Work and Pensions. Remember them?

Back in 2015, when my Freedom of Information request about the number of sickness benefit claimants who had died was finally honoured, we discovered that 2,400 ESA claimants had died within two weeks of being found fit for work. That was the headline figure, but it didn’t tell the whole story because it referred only to a two-week period when the DWP recorded what happened to these people, and only to those who had been found fit for work.

But we have a plethora of evidence that people have died after that two-week period, when the DWP had ceased monitoring their condition. This site has covered dozens – perhaps hundreds – of stories about such people.

And consider this: The number of claimants of any kind of incapacity benefit who died between January 2011 and the end of February 2014 was 91,740. It’s true that many of these people may have been likely to die in any case, due to the seriousness of their health condition.

But we know that the frequency of these deaths increased from 32 per day between January and November 2011, to 79.5 per day between January 2011 and February 2014. That’s a huge increase, for which no explanation has been put forward.

Evidence that the DWP tried to withhold from its response to my FoI request showed that fewer claimants died after the DWP suspended its intrusive and stressful repeat assessments of claimants’ capability for work.

The Work Capability Assessment itself caused a massive increase in mental health problems among benefit claimants who had to take it, leading to 590 suicides in a period covered by an Oxford University and Liverpool University report.

And claimants of both ESA and PIP, who admit they have mental health problems during the assessment, are routinely asked why they have not committed suicide in a modern-day permutation of the practice known as “chequebook euthanasia”.

Put all that together and the total – from deaths caused by austerity cuts in the Department of Health and just the sickness and disability component of the Department for Work and Pensions’ workload – must be a national scandal.

Several commentators have pointed out that the deaths are concentrated among the old and the sick or disabled, and have questioned whether they are evidence of eugenics-based social engineering by Conservatives including David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa May.

I seem to recall, in previous articles, comparing Tory austerity deaths to the “harrying of the north”, in which William the Conqueror’s forces killed around 100,000 people after he took the English throne in 1066. This now seems a pitifully low estimate.

It’s time to be honest: UK austerity deaths are almost certainly causing one of the worst genocides in history.


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New minister for the disabled LIES to Parliament about genocidal cuts to benefits

Sarah Newton: The Conservative government’s new Liar of State for Disability-based Genocide.

Sarah Newton must have a very short memory – or perhaps she lacks intelligence.

The new minister of state for disabled people, who was installed on November 9, had the following exchange with SNP fair work and employment spokesperson Deirdre Brock just four days later (November 13):

Ms Brock said “Changes to benefits are actually resulting in huge cuts to the money that people with disabilities have to live on… Does the Minister agree that starvation does not encourage anyone into work and that cutting off funding to people in need does not help to end that need? Will she commit to reversing these invidious cuts?”

To this, Ms Newton replied: “There are no cuts for people on those benefits.”

What? Does she not remember voting to remove the “work-related activity component” totalling £29.05 per week, from payments of Employment and Support Allowance to people in the Work-Related Activity Group receiving that benefit?

In fact, Judy Hamilton is mistaken – Ms Newton a teller at the vote in 2015.

She did vote at a division in 2016, though – and fully supported the cut. Read about it here.

Her voting record as a whole shows that she has wholeheartedly supported cuts in social security benefits wherevery possible. Read about that, here.

So we have yet another filthy liar, shovelling falsehoods at us from the government benches of the House of Commons.

How much longer must we put up with this contempt from our so-called elected “representatives”?

Sarah Newton doesn’t represent sick people – she doesn’t represent the disabled.

She represents the interests of rich people who don’t want to pay their taxes.

And that’s strange, because many people who are claiming benefits have been forced onto social security because of illnesses or disabilities sustained while working for the same rich people who don’t want to pay their taxes.

So perhaps we should call for Ms Newton’s job title to be amended. She clearly is not a minister of state for disabled people.

Considering Ms Brock’s comment about starvation – a comment that is easily proved accurate with reference to the multitude of deaths since the Conservatives started cutting benefits, one title presents itself.

Ms Newton should be known as the Liar of State responsible for Disability-based Genocide.


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Anti-Semitism debate: Michael Rosen on Israel’s ‘right to exist’

Theodor Herzl: The founder of modern Zionism planned the ethnic cleansing of what is now Israel - removing Palestinians from their land in order to replace them with Jews. How can that ever be supportable?

Theodor Herzl: The founder of modern Zionism planned the ethnic cleansing of what is now Israel – removing Palestinians from their land in order to replace them with Jews. How can that ever be supportable?

Does Israel have a right to exist, as many Zionists have claimed – stridently, whilst demanding that anybody who argues otherwise is an anti-Semite?

It’s an interesting question – and the alleged anti-Semitism being hung around its metaphorical neck makes it worthy of discussion. Here‘s Michael Rosen’s view – and he makes some excellent points.

Is he an anti-Semite (or, considering his heritage, a “self-hating Jew”)? Of course not. He’s a rational, thinking human being.

So consider his arguments and – when faced with opposing points of view – ask of their proponents are as rational as him.

‘Israel’s right to exist’ is not based on internationally recognised law. Nations do not have the ‘right to exist’: people seize them, create them, construct them, and defend them – usually with armaments. There is no abstract ‘right to exist’. Or if people think there is, let it be stated. I think many native peoples would be delighted to hear of it, including the Palestinians.

When or if Israel’s ‘right to exist’ is made ‘non-negotiable’, this makes the Palestinians’ right of return non-negotiable. If we say that any discussion or doubt about Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitic or ‘hors du combat’ , or not up for debate, then in so doing we accord Israel its right to have founded a nation based on dispossession, and that it is entitled to claim continued dispossession. In fact, Israel demands that all peace negotiations begin with acceptance of its ‘right to exist’. Rather than this demand being described as unacceptable, and that this demand has at its heart at the very least some racist overtones towards the dispossessed, the situation is reversed and it is those who question this, who are told that we are the racists.

The main justification for this demand seems to be that the holocaust (genocide of European Jews) took place. This justification is not a universal rule or law. There has been the attempted genocide of the native people’s of Australia and north America. The ‘best’ that either of these peoples got from the conquerors and/or the international community in terms of land were ‘reservations’. They are not accorded any status in terms of a ‘right to exist’ as nations.

To be clear, it is quite possible for what I am saying here to be part of an antisemitic line of thought ie that it is part of a viewpoint which hates all Jews because they are Jews. What I am talking about here is to do with founding principles of nation states, and people’s rights.

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How many deaths have Tory evidence-free policies caused?

Here comes the reaper: Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Here comes the reaper: Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Yesterday’s Guardian article by Zoe Williams about evidence-free government is strangely muted about the main headline-grabber: The fact that she is writing about policies that kill.

“Recently, Dame Anne Begg had some questions for the employment minister, Esther McVey, on the Welfare Reform Act of 2012,” the article states.

“She wanted to know about cuts to benefits, having carefully gathered evidence from charities and food banks in advance. ‘Minimum JSA [jobseeker’s allowance] sanction,’ she began, ‘went from two weeks to four weeks and the maximum went from six months to three years. These are quite sizeable lengths of time, so what evidence did you have on the likely impact on claimants that these extended sanction periods would have?’

“Were there any reasonable grounds that could be shared with any reasonable person to think this policy would be effective – any attempt to visualise how it would look?… There were not. There was a lot of faffing, and some broad and extraneous evidence about sanctions in general. ‘I take it from your failure to answer the question that you did not do any research,’ the chair finally concluded, having grilled McVey and the DWP’s Chris Hayes for long enough.”

This is a policy that kills people. We only have to look at the recent record of Ashton-under-Lyne Job Centre to realise that. Remember the man whose Jobseekers Allowance was sanctioned just before Christmas? “Without warm clothes and very little food he fell asleep on the streets and never woke up. He died of hypothermia.”

Jobcentre staff reportedly said they were “only following orders” – the ‘Nuremberg defence’ used by guards in Nazi extermination camps.

Dame Anne Begg knew about this because Yr Obdt Srvt had written to inform her.

Then – again, just before Christmas – another claimant at Ashton-under-Lyne died. This one was driven to suicide after being sanctioned, and was found hanged.

That’s two, within two weeks – claiming at just one Jobcentre. Working on the law of averages, that gives us 52 deaths per Jobcentre per year, and with 800 Jobcentres in the country our average number of deaths per year would be 41,600.

Both of these claimants had mental health problems but had been dumped off incapacity benefits and onto JSA. Clearly they had failed their Work Capability Assessments – but then, we all know that these are phony tests based on a long-ago-debunked assessment system.

Again, there was no evidence to show the WCA was a valid assessment procedure. Blame for its use falls at Labour’s door (it was introduced in 2008, under a Labour government) – although it should be recognised that Labour soon realised its mistake and would have changed the system if the Conservative-led Coalition had not sidled into office in 2010.

The Tories introduced changes that made the assessment much harder, and it is from the introduction of those changes that the Employment and Support Allowance deaths really started to pile up (the article referenced suggests 73 deaths a week, but the total number was in fact more than 220 – deaths from the support group were included after it was pointed out that random reassessment of people in this group created stress that could easily lead to death).

Right: 220 deaths per week is 11,440 per year. Add that to the 41,600 we already have and our rolling total is 53,040 deaths per year – and remember this is only an extremely rough average to demonstrate the possible extent of the problem. The ESA death figure is from 2011 and may have increased hugely since then – we don’t know because the DWP is hiding the figures from us.

To cut a long story short, we could be looking at as many as 100,000 deaths and more, in the benefit system alone. This carnage, driven by Coalition Government policy, would be the largest genocide of the British people by their government in history, beating even the Harrowing of the North in 1070.

Samuel Miller, who has spent more years researching the fatal effects of evidenceless DWP policy than this writer, had this to say about it yesterday: “There exist only a few studies on the effectiveness of sanctions in social welfare systems, yet that did not deter the DWP from implementing one of the harshest sanctions regimes of all OECD countries.

“Moreover, the Department failed to conduct a ‘real world’ impact assessment of the effect of extended sanctions on claimants. So when the minimum JSA sanction went from two weeks to four weeks and the maximum went from six months to three years, people died as a result.”

Last week, Iain Duncan Smith was campaigning for a Tory government to be elected in 2015. In the face of all the misery and death for which he should be held directly accountable, this creature squelched out of his lair and tried to convince you that he has saved the country £50 billion – because the number of benefit claimants is falling. Even this was a lie.

The Tory insistence on evidenceless policy means that, if a Conservative government is elected in May, the deaths will continue. Every one of the thousands who have died already was some mother’s son or daughter, somebody’s brother, niece, cousin; somebody’s friend or relative.

Maybe somebody close to you will be targeted after May – how would you feel about that?

Maybe it will be you. By then, it will be too late to do anything about it.

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More smears from the Mail against UN official who is trying to help the poor

The victim: Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations' expert Special Rapporteur on Housing is once again the victim of a baseless Daily Mail smear piece.

The victim: Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations’ expert Special Rapporteur on Housing is once again the victim of a baseless Daily Mail smear piece.

Yet again, the Daily Heil has been using the tactics of its best friend Adolf Hitler – the ‘Big Lie’ – to attack a United Nations official whose job is to point out that Coalition government policies are harming the innocent poor.

The Flail‘s tone was Nurembergian – and almost entirely fact-free – as it denounced ‘Brazil Nut’ Raquel Rolnik for imaginary crimes against Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit cuts – the homicidal, if not genocidal, measures that are driving hundreds of thousands of people into destitution and despair.

You see, the Fail is fine with destitution and despair for the poor – its readers are all rich middle- or upper-class housewives who pass their days spending their husbands’ vast fortunes (this is not entirely true, but is exactly the sort of generalisation you can expect from that paper. If you are a Mail reader, it isn’t such fun when you’re the victim, is it?) and gossiping.

The news story is that a group of United Nations poverty ambassadors has written a 22-page letter pointing out that cuts to social security benefits introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and enforced by his Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of the Coalition government may constitute a breach of the UK’s international treaty obligations to the poor.

The letter is new but its factual information is not, having been confirmed by the Council of Europe.

The letter states: “The package of austerity measures enacted could amount to retrogressive measures prohibited under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified in 1974.”

Among the benefit changes it highlights are alterations to housing benefit, council tax benefit, working age benefits and the bedroom tax and the benefits cap – which everybody agrees would be a good idea if it had been limited to a reasonable amount, rather than one at which the Conservative-led Coalition could throw people into hardship.

The Mail‘s report pays little attention to the facts, lavishing far more space on Mrs Rolnik herself. It said she had been nicknamed the ‘Brazil Nut’, which she had – by the Daily Mail; and went on to attempt to cast doubt on her authority as special rapporteur on housing and those of fellow UN ambassadors Maria Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, special rapporteur on extreme poverty; and Olivier De Schutter, the special rapporteur on the right to food.

These are experts in their field who have been engaged by the United Nations – a higher-ranking legal authority than the UK – to investigate government policies, but that’s not good enough for the Mail.

It prefers to get its opinions from tupenny-ha’penny Tory thinktanks.

So it casts doubt. The letter is from ‘ambassadors’ and follows an ‘investigation’, according to the Mail, because putting those words in that way casts doubt upon their validity.

Mrs Rolnik was brought up as a Marxist, the Mail states – as if that has anything to do with her findings. And the report claims she should leave the UK alone and concentrate on problems in her own country, where millions of people live in shanty towns – even though the writer, ‘Jason Groves’, should know perfectly well that her job involves just that.

He clearly doesn’t want you to see her comments on housing in Brazil, prior to the football World Cup which is being held there at the moment: “We expected that the champion of many football cups would use this opportunity to show the world it is also a champion of the right to housing, in particular for people living in poverty, but the information I have received shows otherwise.”

She had received allegations of evictions without due process or in breach of international human rights standards, cases in which residents and citizens had not been consulted and were barred from to participation in decisions that had a grave impact on their standard of living. Concerns had also been expressed about very low compensation that might lead to the creation of new “informal settlements” (shanty towns) with inadequate living conditions or greater rates of homelessness.

“Authorities should avoid at all costs any negative impacts on then human rights of the individuals and communities, especially the most vulnerable… [and] should ensure that their actions, and those of third parties involved in the organization of the events, contribute to the creation of a stable housing market and have a long term positive impact in the residents of the cities where events take place.”

So critics who think she has ignored issues in her home country are wrong.

That’s a bit of a blow to the Mail‘s credibility, isn’t it?

The measures criticised by Mrs Rolnik and her colleagues were brought in “to tackle the huge budget deficit left by Labour”, according to the Mail. Again, this is wrong. The Coalition government has made no real effort to tackle the budget deficit which was necessitated when Labour saved our banking system, the threat having been created by Tory-supporting bankers whose greed put their firms into overwhelming debt. Look at the annual deficit for the last financial year; it is still well above £100 billion. If you agree that the cuts were to bring the deficit down, you have swallowed a lie.

Iain Duncan Smith, the man this blog describes as ‘RTU’ (standing for ‘Returned To Unit’ in tribute to his failed Army career) is reportedly furious at this intervention from the United Nations, which has a duty to intervene if governments of member countries descend into criminality, as has happened with the UK (here’s just one example).

Vox Political has reported extensively on this matter and his arguments carry about as much weight as his retrospective Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act. Take a look at Mrs Rolnik’s report on housing in the UK and the research that supported what she said and then ask yourself if Mr …Smith has got a leg to stand on.

According to the Mail, he said: “They talk down our country, criticising the action we’ve taken to get control of the public finances and create a fairer more prosperous Britain. They simply do not have a clue – and we will not be taking lessons from a group of unelected commentators who can’t get their facts straight.”

“Unelected” and “Can’t get their facts straight” are both criticisms that could be applied with more accuracy to Mr …Smith and his government.

In fact.

Additional: Here’s some more information about Iain Duncan Smith playing fast and loose with statistics, just in today.

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Panellists hijack Question Time to attack Iain Duncan Smith

Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn't give him the chance.

Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn’t give him the chance.

Around three-quarters of the way through tonight’s Question Time, I was ready to believe the BBC had pulled a fast one on us and we weren’t going to see Iain Duncan Smith get the well-deserved comeuppance that he has managed to avoid for so long in Parliament and media interviews.

There was plausible deniability for the BBC – the Isis crisis that has blown up in Iraq is extremely topical and feeds into nationwide feeling about the possibility of Britain going to war again in the Middle East. The debate on extremism in Birmingham schools is similarly of public interest – to a great degree because it caused an argument between Tory cabinet ministers. Those are big issues at the moment and the BBC can justifiably claim that it was making best use of the time and the panellists (for example Salma Yaqoob is a Muslim, from Birmingham, who is a member of ‘Hands Off Our Schools’).

But Auntie shouldn’t think for a moment that we didn’t notice the glaring omission on tonight’s agenda. With the Work and Pensions Secretary as the major politician on the panel, we should have had a question about his job but were fobbed off instead with non-items about ‘British values’ and whether parents should be arrested for allowing their children to become obese. That’s enough for some of us to read a right-wing agenda between the lines – an aim to avoid embarrassing Iain Duncan Smith.

It seems that, even if Auntie’s twin-set is pink, her bloomers are blue. Blue-mers, if you like.

By the time the fourth question came up, it seemed there would be no opportunity to analyse RTU (we call him Returned To Unit after his failed Army career) and his disastrous ministerial career.

This question was: “After the Newark by-election, are we looking at the destruction of the Liberal Democrats?” Thank goodness some of the panellists realised this was their chance.

Chris Bryant leapt at the opportunity to bypass the Lib Dems altogether. “The real enemy is over there,” he said, indicating the Secretary-in-a-State. “The Conservatives have made this country a place where two million people need food bank handouts.”

He was trying to hit a nerve; Duncan Smith’s department has been accused of trying to mislead the public on the reason food banks have been springing up all around the country – and it was very recently alleged that senior figures in the government had warned food bank charity the Trussell Trust to stop criticising government policy or be shut down.

Salma Yaqoob pointed out that, thanks to the Conservative-led coalition (and, because he’s the Work and Pensions secretary, Duncan Smith’s policies), “13 million people are now below the poverty line and one million are suffering the indignity of having to use food banks.

“People are suicidal,” she pointed out – a very pertinent claim to make, as the most common cause of death for people going through Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit system appears to be suicide (due to the stress created by Department for Work and Pensions officers who work very hard to push them off-benefit). “They don’t want to be a burden to their families because their support has been taken away.”

She said: “People have been called scroungers… Iain Duncan Smith quite happily labels poor people as scroungers, when he claimed £39 on expenses for his own breakfast.”

Duncan Smith was interrupting from the background to claim that he had never called benefit claimants scroungers. Feel free to go to your favourite search engine right now, type in “Iain Duncan Smith scroungers”, and see for yourself whether his name has ever been associated with the word.

And, thank goodness, a member of the public spoke up to say: “Iain Duncan Smith is systematically taking down public services in this country and destroying people’s lives.”

He went on to invite anybody who cares about this issue to the demonstration in London by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, on June 21.

(I have since discovered that he was David Peel, press officer for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. In my opinion, the fact that he was a political representative, planted in the audience to make a point, diminishes what he had to say – but I am still glad that somebody said what he did.)

It was sad that the great satirist Ian Hislop did not take an opportunity to make a few sharp observations – especially as commenters to this site have made it clear that they contacted him to request this action. He addressed himself to the question he had been asked and I make no comment about that; you can draw your own conclusions.

It didn’t happen the way this writer would have wanted, but the job got done anyway.

Expect multiple attempts by the right-wing press to salvage the situation – all doomed to failure.

Last week, Vox Political stated that there was an opportunity here to show the public the homicidal – if not genocidal – nature of the changes to the benefit system this man mockingly describes as “welfare reforms”.

Job done.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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