Tag Archives: homes

Nearly 9,000 people died from catching Covid-19 in English hospitals. Comment, Matt Hancock?

Smug little liar: Matt Hancock defended himself with untrue claims after Dominic Cummings lambasted him for his many failures to tackle Covid-19. This was just one of them and it caused around 22,000 deaths.

So much for Matt Hancock’s “protective ring” around care homes.

Official NHS data shows around 8,700 people died of Covid-19 after contracting it while being treated for other conditions in English hospitals.

It seems logical to conclude that these include many people who Hancock then sent back to care homes, where inadequate procedures to shield vulnerable residents caused more than 20,000 deaths in total, unless I recall the figures inaccurately.

Fact-checking by The Guardian states that Dominic Cummings’ claim – that Matt Hancock had said a protective shield would be put around care homes but that this was nonsense – was true. That article states:

Cummings said: “We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to [care] homes, we only subsequently found out that that hadn’t happened. Now while the government rhetoric was we have put a shield around care homes and blah blah blah, it was complete nonsense.”

He went on to say the opposite occurred and people with Covid were sent back to the care homes.

Care homes and representatives of the sector have said the government “completely abandoned” them, while criticism of the handling of the care home issue has been voiced by the former health secretaries Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt.

Though authorities in Britain are not alone in comparison with counterparts in other western states, in terms of failing to follow through on talk of shielding care homes, a study from the London School of Economics has put the number of Covid-19 deaths among care home residents in England and Wales at 22,000, more than double the official estimate.

We all knew Hancock’s silly talk of a “protective ring” around care homes was a lie – more than a year ago, as this article evidences.

How far did Hancock manage to spread Covid-19 through the UK, simply by allowing it to spread among people in hospital getting treatment for other ailments?

And when will he be forced to face justice for it?

(I think we all know the answer to that one, judging by what usually happens: we won’t have the facts until after he has died.)

And here’s the big question:

When with the people of the UK finally stand up and say we’ve had enough of a corrupt government that rewards people who have knowingly helped cause the deaths of thousands upon thousands of us.

Source: Up to 8,700 patients died after catching Covid in English hospitals | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds rent out £1.2m home – because the funding stream from Tory donors is drying up?

“Can I hide in your fridge”? At the rate he’s going, Boris Johnson (who once, infamously, did hide in a fridge to avoid scrutiny) will soon be living in one.

It’s a valid question.

In the midst of a huge controversy over the way Boris Johnson has funded changes to the Downing Street flat, he suddenly announces this:

Boris Johnson is preparing to rent out his £1.2 million townhouse to raise cash following his second divorce and the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, it is reported.

Property experts told the Times that Mr Johnson, 56, and Ms Symonds, 33, could let the house for up to £4,000 a month.

The Prime Minister recently put his £1.2 million house near Thame in Oxfordshire up for rent. It was listed at £4,250 a month in April, and a lease was agreed this week, it was reported.

Johnson insists that he paid for the Downing Street renovations himself – but won’t say whether the money was given to him by one or more donors before.

The Electoral Commission has launched an inquiry into whether any loans or donations made in connection with the refurbishment work had been properly declared.

And it is with officials examining his finances that Johnson has started renting out not one but two buildings he owns.

I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he has suddenly run into cashflow problems – and we may reasonably question the reasons for them.

Source: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds rent out £1.2m home – and they could make £4,000 a month – Mirror Online

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‘Build, build, cut’? Or did Johnson simply announce continuation of Budget promise?

Caught out again: but if anyone demands clarity from Boris Johnson, isn’t this the best response we can hope to get?

Boris Johnson seems to have painted himself into a corner with his claim to be putting more money into building affordable homes.

Read this:

Boris Johnson’s claim to “build, build, build” his way out of the coronavirus pandemic was thrown into confusion amid claims that he appeared to have cut funding for affordable housing.

As he delivered a speech in Dudley, No.10’s website suggested that £12bn would be spent on housing over the next eight years – even though the Ministry of Housing said after the Budget in March that the same amount would be spent over five years.

The PM faced fresh claims that the Tory party was doing favours for its “housing developer mates” after he unveiled sweeping planning reforms to allow high street shops to be turned into housing.

A government spokesman insisted there had been no cut to funding and that the eight year timeframe was a reference to the delivery of the new homes, rather than the five-year allocation of cash for them.

“This is in line with what was announced at Budget – there has been no cut in funding or delay in delivery.”

If it’s in line with what was announced in the March Budget, then Johnson isn’t offering any extra money.

And in fact, it seems he’ll be giving cash to his “housing developer mates” to do cheap conversions of shops into housing.

So it seems clear that Johnson’s speech was, if not riddled with lies as such, at the very least misleading.

It’s what we’ve come to expect from the Tories – and from Boris Johnson in particular.

You can’t ever take him at his word.

Source: Johnson ‘Build, Build, Build’ Pledge Under Fire Amid ‘Cuts’ Confusion | HuffPost UK

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Scientists: stick it on the Tories before they stick it on you

Tory propaganda: every time a Tory minister stands in front of cameras for a press conference, they spout at least 30 minutes of nonsense at us. Now it seems they are going to “stick” the blame for their mistakes “on the scientists”. I say the scientists should get their retaliation in first.

We should thank Tory Care Minister Helen Whately for admitting that the government is planning to “stick” responsibility for the Covid-19 massacre in the UK “on the scientists”.

It’s a strange thing to say, as Tories like Ms Whately – who, as Care Minister, must be personally responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 people in care homes across the country, after her government ordered that people with the virus should be shipped from hospitals to those homes, rather than to the “Nightingale” hospitals where they might at least have been properly isolated, had those hospitals not been useless figurehead public relations stunts.

The government also allowed care workers to move freely between homes, ensuring that if they picked up the disease in one home, they would easily be able to transfer it to another.

Those are fatal decisions for which the Care Minister must take responsibility. Will she?

This clip suggests she won’t:

If I were a scientist listening to that, I would quietly start compiling a list – and I would suggest that all my colleagues did the same.

They’re between a rock and a hard place because they can’t just quit; if they did, they would be blamed for walking out when the country needed them the most.

So: a list.

This list would itemise all the times when, despite claiming to be “following the science”, the Tories went their own way instead.

I would include the consequences of such decisions, with figures on the number of deaths caused by them, if possible.

And I would release that list to the press pre-emptively – before the Tories had a chance to get their lie out.

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Will the Tories be embarrassed by the Affordable Housing Bill?

The National Housing Federation ran a campaign against the 'bedroom tax' while the legislation was going through Parliament - but the government was blind to the concerns of this expert organisation.

The National Housing Federation ran a campaign against the ‘bedroom tax’ while the legislation was going through Parliament – but the government was blind to the concerns of this expert organisation.

Tomorrow (Friday) the Labour Party will do something it hasn’t done in a fair few years – support a Parliamentary Bill put forward by a Liberal Democrat!

Andrew George’s Affordable Housing Bill seeks to soften the effects of the Bedroom Tax by exempting households in which disabled people have had adaptations made to the building, and in which any person in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (but notably not Employment and Support Allowance) is not able to share a bedroom with a partner, meaning that all bedrooms are occupied, if only by the claimant and their partner.

It would also force the Work and Pensions Secretary to review the number of affordable homes and intermediate housing available, assessing the need for such dwellings, progress made in meeting this need and the potential to do so, the role of registered providers and community land trusts, and whether he should act to meet any need revealed by the review.

This could doubly harm the Conservatives as David Cameron went on record during Prime Minister’s Questions many times as the Bedroom Tax passed into law, to say that it would not affect the disabled. Clearly his statements were false; clearly he was lying to Parliament.

It is also public knowledge that the Conservatives were well aware of the lack of appropriate housing for people to downsize into, once the Bedroom Tax came into effect and they were forced to pay for rooms the government now considers to be under-occupied. The plan was never to get people to move into more appropriate accommodation; it was always to force people – who had been allocated housing on the basis of what was available at the time – into a benefit cut created by conditions that were not of their making.

Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, writing on LabourList, stated that Labour will support Mr George’s Bill. “Though most MPs will have commitments in their constituencies, I and other Labour MPs will be present in the House of Commons chamber to support the Bill so that it has the best chance of progressing through to its next stage,” she wrote.

It is to be hoped that any absent MPs will have ‘paired’ with opposing MPs, in order to ensure that no side has an unfair advantage when the matter comes to the vote; it is bad enough that the government scheduled the Bill’s second reading for a Friday, when most MPs have constituency duties.

Labour has lately come under fire from certain individuals – including readers of this blog – who are living under the delusion that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition has supported the Coalition government with regard to the Bedroom Tax. Let’s put that to rest with a few more words from the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary:

“Labour has been clear and consistent in its opposition to the Bedroom Tax.

“We said it was cruel and unfair, taking an average £700 a year from half a million low income households. The government has admitted that two thirds of those hit have disabilities, and another 60,000 are carers. All the evidence from housing and disability experts showed that most would have nowhere else to move to.

“We also said it was unworkable and could end up costing more than it saved, with people unable to keep up with their rent, destabilising the finances of housing providers and risking costly eviction proceedings, or ending up with private landlords where rents and housing benefit bills are higher.

“Our fears were confirmed by the government’s own independent evaluation of the policy slipped out over the summer. This revealed that just 4.5% of affected claimants had been able to move to smaller accommodation within the social sector, that 60% had fallen behind with their rent after just six months, and that there was “widespread concern that those who were paying were making cuts to other household essentials or incurring other debts”.

“These are the reasons why Labour MPs forced a vote in the House of Commons for its abolition in November last year. It is why we supported a Bill to abolish the tax put forward by Ian Lavery MP in February this year. And it is why Ed Miliband has committed the next Labour government to repealing it if we win the general election next year.

“We in the Labour Party will take any opportunity to protect as many people as we can from this unjust and ill-conceived policy.

“But the only sure way to get the Bedroom Tax fully repealed will be to elect a Labour government next May.”

The Affordable Housing Bill is scheduled to be the first discussed in the September 5, 2014 session, and it should be possible to watch the debate at http://www.parliament.uk or the BBC’s Democracy Live site from 9.30am onwards.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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