Tag Archives: Ian Blackford

Coronavirus: if Spain can introduce a Universal Basic Income, why can’t the UK?

Money: The UK economy has plenty but it goes to the wrong places and people fall through gaps in the system. Can Boris Johnson be persuaded to bring in a Universal Basic Income that is simple and cheap?

This is an important question: the UK has a larger economy than Spain, so why can’t the UK have a Universal Basic Income like Spain?

Instead – at the moment – we have a series of scheme for people in different circumstances, that are both complicated and costly.

UBI would be easier and cheaper.

But the Tory government won’t have it.

Why? Well, the logical answer is because Tories don’t want to supply a steady income to poor people, in a system that they won’t be able to remove again without public outcry, after the coronavirus crisis is over.

They have already said they think it discourages people from seeking work, but this is nonsense; it means people don’t have to take jobs for employers who undervalue the work they do.

Underlying this, we have evidence that Tories simply like to persecute people, and a conditional benefit system makes this possible.

But the SNP’s Ian Blackford is right – the current patchwork of schemes is full of gaps – and people are being left behind.

Spain has said the system it is introducing is an emergency measure – but if successful it would become a permanent instrument to tackle poverty.

Now, why would the Tories want to oppose that?

Source: Government urged to introduce ‘universal basic income’ after Spain move – Welfare Weekly

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Will Tory MPs still vote for Boris Johnson after he was named a racist in Prime Minister’s Questions?

You bet they will!

That’s right, isn’t it, Tory MPs? You all heard Ian Blackford – correctly – reminding Theresa May that Boris Johnson published a poem stating that the Scottish people are a “verminous” race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated.

Mr Blackford continued: “Well, of course, words matter and actions matter. The Prime Minister thought that the man who published those words in his magazine was fit for the office of our top diplomat, and he has not stopped there. He has said that Scots should be banned from being Prime Minister—banned from being Prime Minister, Mr Speaker—and that £1 spent in Croydon was worth more than £1 spend in Strathclyde. This is a man who is not fit for office. It has been said, “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.” This is a time of challenge, so does the Prime Minister realise that not only is the Member racist, but he is stoking division in communities and has a record of dishonesty?

“He has called Muslim women “letter boxes”, described African people as having “watermelon smiles” and another disgusting slur that I would never dignify by repeating. If that is not racist, I do not know what is. Does the Prime Minister honestly believe that this man is fit for the office of Prime Minister?”

All of the factual information in his questions was accurate.

And although Mr Blackford was accused of using un-Parliamentary language, Commons Speaker John Bercow restricted himself to saying Mr Blackford should have notified Mr Johnson of his intention to make this accusation in advance (he said he had). Later, in response to a point of order, Mr Bercow added: “I think it would be wise for colleagues to bear in mind the general principle that one does not impute dishonour to another Member. That is the first point.

“I think it would be appropriate, in the remaining weeks before the summer recess and before a new leader of the governing party takes office, to have some regard to that for which the Prime Minister is responsible. She is responsible for her own policies and for the conduct of her Government and their administration of their affairs, and it is important that questions should be put with that overarching consideration and ambit of responsibility in mind.”

These are all fair points, with regard to Parliamentary procedure. But the question had been asked – in front of packed Conservative benches – and Theresa May could only answer that “I believe that any future Conservative Prime Minister will be better for Scotland than the Scottish Nationalist Party”.

So, if Mr Johnson does become prime minister, his racism has already won endorsement from his immediate forerunner.

And what about all those Conservatives who heard the question and were then called to vote in the third round of their party’s leader election? More than one-third of these MPs voted for Mr Johnson yesterday (June 18), but could reasonably have excused themselves from any accusation of endorsing racism by saying they did not know about Mr Johnson’s actions.

Today they will have no such excuse.

So, if Mr Johnson wins as many votes in the third round, anyone wishing to accuse a Conservative MP of endorsing racism will have at least a one-in-three chance of being right. It wouldn’t be more accurate because it is, of course, a secret ballot.

But the more votes Mr Johnson gets, the more likely a Conservative MP is to be tarred as a supporter of racism and racist comments.

So the results – when they are announced – should make interesting reading!

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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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Blackford threatens to sue Tory MP over ‘arms dealer’ claim. Why won’t Corbyn sue the Sunday Times?

Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford: Both have been subjected to claims they say are false, but they have reacted in markedly different ways. Why?

The SNP’s leader in Westminster is threatening to sue Conservative MP Ross Thomson over a claim that he is an “arms dealer”.

According to The Herald, the threat follows a tweet from Mr Thomson of a news story claiming that an investment fund Mr Blackford chairs profits from defence deals.

Mr Thomson included a shocked-face emoji and the line “Just a simple arms dealer”.

He deleted the tweet two hours later but the SNP has said Mr Blackford’s solicitors have contacted Mr Thomson, demanding an apology and a charitable donation.

This chain of events raises an obvious question: Much more serious allegations were made about Jeremy Corbyn by reporters for The Sunday Times – so why hasn’t he demanded reparations from them?

His inaction encourages readers and commentators – including certain Labour backbenchers – to claim that the allegations (of anti-Semitism) are true.

It is hugely damaging – not only to Mr Corbyn but also to all Labour members who have been falsely accused of anti-Semitism, just because they support Mr Corbyn and the direction he has taken the Labour Party.

As a victim of this discrimination, I certainly don’t understand the thinking behind Mr Corbyn’s lack of action. Isn’t it time we had an explanation?

Source: Ian Blackford threatens to sue Ross Thomson over ‘arms dealer’ comment | HeraldScotland