Tag Archives: humiliation

Tories finally tell PRIMARY schools in LONDON to stay closed. Union calls for rest of England to do the same

Wearing the dunce’s cap again: for Gavin Williamson, the reopening of schools at the height of the Covid crisis isn’t a hard decision – he does what he’s told to do by Boris Johnson. That’s why he has made a fool of himself – and why he is deliberately endangering your children and (if you are a parent) you.

Could anything better illustrate the weakness of Boris Johnson and his Conservative government?

They want to keep the UK’s economy going, despite having done everything possible to let Covid-19 rampage through the population while pretending to restrict it.

So they need to keep schools open, so parents don’t have an excuse to stay at home.

That’s why none of their restrictions/lockdowns since September have included schools.

They seemed ready to keep up this farcical charade into the New Year – even though Covid-19 infection rates have soared and schools are the most common vector – right up until January 1, days before the new school term was due to begin.

Then – at the very last minute once again, meaning parents’ plans have been thrown into chaos for no good reason – Education Secretary Gavin Williamson u-turned, signing off on a plan for all primary schools to remain closed for the time being…

In London.

For clarity, you need to be aware that secondary schools and colleges were already set to be closed to most pupils for the first two weeks of term, while primaries in 50 local authorities in London and southern England were also told to remain closed until January 18.

It was only after council leaders in 10 other London boroughs, where Covid transmission rates are high but schools were told to remain open, said they would defy the government and support closures that Williamson agreed to close them all.

He had been backed into a corner. Whatever he did would have led to humiliation so he chose the option that would not result in open defiance.

But his decision only covers those 60 local authority areas in London and the south, prompting education unions – most prominently the National Education Union – to ask:

Why are are children and parents in the rest of England being left vulnerable to Covid?

The National Education Union’s joint general secretary, Mary Bousted, has called on the government to close schools across that country (remember: education is a devolved responsibility so the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland choose whether their schools will open or not).

According to the BBC,

In Wales, there will be “flexibility” at the beginning of term, with teaching due to start in most places from 4 January. Schools are expected to offer face-to-face learning for most pupils by 11 January, with a full return by 18 January.

In Northern Ireland, primary school pupils will be taught online until 11 January. In secondary schools, years 8 to 11 will be taught online throughout January. Years 12 to 14 will return to school after the first week of January.

In Scotland, the Christmas holidays have been extended to 11 January, and the following week will be online learning only. A full return to face-to-face learning is planned for 18 January.

Dr Bousted pointed out that it is impossible to stop children from mixing with each other in large numbers and if just one has the virus, then they all may catch it and transmit it to their families – and out into the community:

She added, on Andrew Castle’s LBC radio talk show, that teachers have a legal right to refuse to work if they think opening schools will create a health risk:

For Gavin Williamson, the situation has now become extremely precarious:

Will Williamson cave in again, or will he stand accused of condemning thousands to catch the virus when the NHS cannot take the strain and fatalities are rising?

And what will happen to Boris Johnson’s precious economy if this irrational stubbornness over schools creates knock-on havoc in business and industry?

Whatever happens, responsibility for the result will lie entirely with Johnson and his Conservative government. But we, the people, will pay the price.

Source: All primary schools in London to remain closed after U-turn | Schools | The Guardian

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Another humiliation for Johnson – this time over claim life expectancy gap is narrowing

Boris Johnson: The blond lummox is humiliated again.

How many times does Boris Johnson have to make a fool of himself before we can do something about it?

Let me answer that: We’re 44 days into his new Parliament, meaning there are a potential 1,783 days of humiliation to come.

And it’s always possible that he’ll manage to make himself look a berk more than once per day.

Conclusion: It’s going to be a long five years.

The current humiliation concerns his claim that the gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor is narrowing; it isn’t.

Here’s The Independent:

The prime minister raised eyebrows when he told MPs the gap “is a disgrace”, then added: “None the less, it is coming down, and it will come down.”

In fact, official statistics last March showed women in the poorest parts of England are living three months fewer – while the average life span of women in the wealthiest areas is rising by almost as much.

The discrepancy between men in the richest and poorest areas has also widened by about three months, driven by a faster rise in life expectancy for the wealthy.

Alarmingly, decade-on-decade improvements in life expectancy began to tail off in 2011 – a shock change blamed by some experts on the government’s harsh austerity programme.

Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP who raised the issue, said: “The prime minister is renowned for making things up” – and there wasn’t much that BoJob could say in response.

And Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “If the prime minister really wants to unite the country, he has to learn how to tell the truth.”

If we believe that, then the country will never be united because there’s no chance of Boris Johnson ever learning to tell the truth!

Source: Boris Johnson forced to retreat on false claim life expectancy gap between rich and poor is narrowing under the Tories | The Independent

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Britain’s politicians are still the best in the world – at humiliating themselves in dance

Tories call this dancing. Thank goodness Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed her how it’s done.

Ill-advised Americans tried to humiliate youngest-ever Congresswoman – and, apparently, “Commie know-it-all” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by tweeting a 30-second clip of her doing a famous dance from the movie The Breakfast Club.

There was only one problem: Her dancing was really good and her popularity skyrocketed. See for yourself.

The newly sworn-in Congresswoman responded to the attempt to stir up controversy in the obvious – and perfect – way, by recording herself dancing into her new office:

Compare this with UK prime minister Theresa May’s disastrous attempts to be “with it”, like this one:

After the British public unanimously expressed shock, horror and revulsion at the sight of the prime minister making an exhibition of herself in this way, she also doubled-down with a new dance at the Conservative Party conference last year:

Public revulsion this time was augmented by a profusion of spoof videos, as recounted in a previous Vox Political article, here.

It all goes to show that there is still one quality, at least, with which British politicians top the world.

It’s just not a quality worth having.

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Immigration minister humiliated over information sharing blunder

Caroline Nokes: It seems she prefers horses to human beings.

Caroline Nokes – what a piece of work.

She tried to bluff Home Affairs Select Committee chair Yvette Cooper that she didn’t have the relevant information to deal with a case in which serious defects had been discovered in accommodation for seven asylum-seeking mothers with young children. The house was infested with vermin.

Here’s how the conversation unfolded:

“You didn’t need telepathy; all you needed was a telephone.” I’m no fan of Ms Cooper, but she was absolutely right there.

Ms Nokes’s response – that she “would be very pleased” to receive the information – was belied by her icy expression and body language.

And when Ms Cooper asked, “Might you not have wanted to make that call yourself rather than leaving it for us to do in this public way?” it was telling that Ms Nokes paused for a long time before adding: “I think that is a conversation I need to have with my officials.”

I think we can all tell what that conversation was going to be.

It wasn’t going to be about them failing to get the information she needed to help asylum-seeking mothers.

It was going to be about the fact that Ms Nokes had been made to look a fool in public.

She doesn’t care about those mothers, their children, or the rodent-infested house to which they have been banished.

She didn’t show the slightest interest in their plight, or in helping them out of it.

If she had been interested in such matters, then the problem would have been solved months ago (a damning report had been issued in July).

Remember: This is the Tory minister who defended a policy to accelerate the deportation of hunger-striking women at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre.

This is the attitude typical of Conservative ministers in Theresa May’s government.

Their concern is for their own advancement – not for the provision of a service to the public.

They take after their leader in that respect.

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More than 150,000 people to get boost in disability benefit after Tories sneak out humiliating climbdown

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

This is to be welcomed.

But take note of the fact that the BBC report (below) doesn’t mention the fact that Esther Mcvey sneaked out her announcement after the close of Parliamentary business for the week.

Nor is anything said of the fact that this was a humiliating climbdown for the Tories.

Still, it’s good news for the public.

And if this is an indication of Esther McVey’s future at the DWP, then perhaps she is to be welcomed after all.

But I doubt it.

Ministers have backed down in a row over paying higher disability benefits to 164,000 people by saying they will not contest a High Court decision.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said she would not appeal December’s judgement over payments to people with mental health conditions.

Ministers had sought to limit those suffering psychological distress from claiming higher rates of benefits.

Campaigners said this was “crude and unfair” and welcomed the U-turn.

The government introduced regulations last March stating that people who could not travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress, as opposed to other conditions, were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of Personal Independence Payment.

Ministers pressed ahead with the proposals despite criticism from an independent tribunal in 2016 but the High Court ruled shortly before Christmas that they were “blatantly discriminatory”.

The government was expected to challenge the ruling, having previously said reversing the changes would cost an extra £3.7bn by 2022.

But Ms McVey, in one of her first major announcements since joining the cabinet last week, ruled out fresh legal action in a written statement to Parliament.

The Department for Work and Pensions will now go through all affected cases to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgement.

All payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.

Source: U-turn in disability benefits row


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Rachel Reeves could single-handedly lose the election for Labour

Rachel Reeves: So stupid she'll cost Labour the election.

Rachel Reeves: This photo is a rare occasion in which she doesn’t have her foot in her mouth.

I’ll say it if nobody else will – Rachel Reeves is so stupid she could lose Labour the election.

Work and Pensions is a gaping policy open-goal for the Tories but Ms Reeves can’t see this and wants the world to know she’ll out-cut them on the Benefit Cap.

“Labour supports a cap on benefits. We will ask an independent commission to look at whether the cap should be lower in some areas,” are her actual words.

What stupidity. One can only imagine she is basing these comments on the fact that wages are lower in some areas than others. But prices are just as high!

Sure, it’s an important point that David Cameron’s government “has spent £25bn more than planned on welfare because of his failure to tackle the low pay that leaves millions dependent on benefits to make ends meet”. And her comments about apprenticeships may be accurate as well.

But what about all the deaths caused by Iain Duncan Smith’s homicidal benefits regime?

What about the huge numbers of people who have simply disappeared from the benefit system rather than face another round of humiliation and sanction on possibly fraudulent grounds?

What about workfare?

What about zero-hours contracts, part-time and temporary work, and all the dodges employers are using to get out of paying for holidays, sickness and the like?

What about the scandal of our low-wage economy, that keeps people on in-work benefits and denies the Treasury the Income Tax money it needs to pay off the deficit and debt?

What about the many other legitimate grounds for laying into the Coalition government?

This is utterly unacceptable – and in the run-up to an election.

What is Ed Miliband thinking, letting her keep the Work and Pensions brief?

He must get rid of her – not just for our sakes, but for his own party’s electoral chances.