Tag Archives: incompetent

Johnson’s popularity hits record low – but Bercow says he won’t quit as he’s not ‘accountable’

Speaking out: John Bercow (here piectured at the Bingham Lecture), one of the straight-talkers of recent Parliamentary history.

Boris Johnson won’t quit as prime minister because he leads a government that doesn’t believe in accountability for its failures.

That’s the verdict from former Commons Speaker John Bercow after a poll of Conservative Party members put him second to last among cabinet figures with a record low satisfaction rating of -10.3:

The prime minister recorded a net satisfaction rating of -10.3 in a survey of party members, coming in second to last among cabinet figures.

The prime minister recorded -10.3 in ConservativeHome’s latest cabinet league table, coming in second to last among cabinet figures.

His rating was better only than that of his education secretary Gavin Williamson, who scored -43.1.

I have to include this bit:

Johnson’s rating is likely to be dipping in part because of his initial handling of the pandemic and the number of deaths the UK has suffered.

The urge to be sarcastic and say, “Oh really? Well I never!” is very strong. Of course it’s because he has failed in the principle duty of government which is to protect the people of the United Kingdom.

@RussInCheshire has been brutally funny about it in his regular The Week In Tory tweets:

I’ve quoted some extra tweets in the thread because they support the idea that Johnson doesn’t believe in accountability for himself or his government: he treats us with contempt by repeating a promise that he has already broken; he failed to punish a man (again) for breaking Covid-19 restriction because it was his dad; he treated the deadly threat of Covid-19 as though it was nothing to get het up about; and his own MPs – who are het up about it – turned on him in an expression of frustration at their utter inability to instil in him any sense of responsibility at all.

So we come to former Commons Speaker John Bercow’s appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today (October 6), in which he delivered the home truth we all knew but nobody else seemed willing to say:

(Death Secretary = Matt Hancock, if you didn’t know.)

As if to prove Mr Bercow’s point, Rishi Sunak turned up on Tory mouthpiece BBC Breakfast to sell a load of old tripe to us about Covid-19 tests. He was not challenged on his lie and was therefore not held accountable for it:

Ultimately, the fault for the government lies with us, the people of the UK.

With every new disaster I am reminded of the Joseph de Maistre line, “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”

The UK had a chance to elect a government that would have been much better than Johnson’s, and didn’t.

I’m thinking particularly of the former “Red Wall” constituencies who switched to Johnson because a majority of people there wanted Brexit at any cost.

Well, they’re getting it. I wonder how many people have to die before they accept that the cost is too high, and their current defiance means my guess is that they will probably have to lose some of their own relatives, or face a risk to their own lives, before the message sinks in.

Source: Boris Johnson’s popularity falls to record low among Tory members

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Restless public holds up Jon Snow monstering of ‘death minister’ Hancock as example of how media should hold Tories to account

People are getting tired of the BBC and other Tory-supporting media letting Boris Johnson’s government get away with its mistakes.

That’s why this drubbing of Tory “death minister” Matt Hancock by Channel 4’s Jon Snow – carried out while Parliament was deadlocked over Brexit last year – has suddenly become hugely popular on Twitter.

Snow? It’s more like a blizzard:

People haven’t been holding back in their criticisms of certain hacks in the mainstream media:

Will it do any good? Of course not.

As I type this, the BBC’s Politics Live has been discussing Chris Bryant’s nomination of US Presidential candidate Joe Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize rather than any of the disasters that the Tories are bringing to the UK.

Perhaps they’ll get around to the Tory cowards who are abstaining on the Internal Market Bill that plans to break international law and return violence to Northern Ireland later but I doubt it.

Oh look! They’re discussing Boris Johnson’s daft speech about re-skilling people for the post-Covid economy as if he knows what he’s talking about.

Perhaps we should all just adopt the Jon Snow ‘blizzard’ approach whenever we see our own Tory MPs instead.

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#Whitty and #Vallance TV briefing shows incompetent Tories failed to contain #Covid19UK while causing maximum public inconvenience

[Image tweeted by The Brexit Comic.]

There’s no way around it: Boris Johnson and his gang of Tory nincompoops have really cocked up the Covid-19 crisis.

That’s the message This Writer took from the televised briefing by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance.

Here’s a summary of what they said, courtesy of that great critic of the Johnson government, Piers Morgan:

Those are the points I got from it too – and here’s my conclusion:

That’s right:

Here’s the rest of what I took from the briefing:

So what can we all expect in the future from Johnson?

More of the same.

He may impose more restrictions on our freedoms but he won’t tell us not to go to work again, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

His policies will be intended to keep hospital admissions within treatable levels – to prevent Covid-19 from overwhelming the UK’s doctors and nurses – as it always has been. But they won’t be about reducing levels of infection to zero because he has never been interested in that. Making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

Johnson may even try to justify his refusal to impose measures that would eradicate the disease by saying the effect on the economy would cause even more harm to public health. As I tweeted, that’s a political decision – he could legislate to ensure that any such harm is prevented. But he won’t, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

And that means many more people are going to die – your relatives and friends, perhaps. Maybe even you. Because making money for Johnson’s friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

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Parents are having to re-use ventilator parts for their sick children because of Tory Covid-19 failures

No ventilator for you: the government is continuing to ensure that only able-bodied people with coronavirus can have access to a ventilator. The rest can die as a result of the Tories’ refusal to make proper preparations at the appropriate time.

Children are suffering again because the Conservative government is incompetent.

Back at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis we learned that, despite having been warned that a flu or flu-like pandemic was on its way and they should stock up on ventilator equipment, successive Tory governments under David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson ignored the advice.

They didn’t buy ventilators, causing a crippling shortage of equipment when the inevitable happened and the virus hit us.

Then, when the EU generously offered Boris Johnson a chance to join a bulk-buying scheme that would have brought much-needed ventilators into the UK, he refused. His reason? “We are not in the EU.”

Pathetic.

Here’s the result:

(The Dyson ventilators never happened; the Tory government told the company its services were not required.)

Johnson was then able to treat the lack of ventilators as a golden opportunity to rid the UK of some of the “useless eaters” (as I’m sure the Tories call them, picking up on Nazi terminology). So people with disabilities were told they would be denied ventilators if they caught Covid-19, the excuse being that their disabilities mean their chances of survival are less.

Senior citizens faced the same discrimination.

Now the Tory decision is making children suffer as well.

Child malnutrition has already at least doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK. Now this:

Parents of children reliant upon ventilators are being asked to reuse vital parts after the demand caused by COVID-19 created a shortage.

Maisie Lossau, 15, has needed the equipment day and night following surgery to remove a brainstem tumour four years ago.

But when her mother, Dawn, put in an order for supplies she was told there were none to send.

“We have a very small piece of equipment which is called an HME, which is a humidification valve, changed every day.

“When we went into lockdown we were told there was a shortage of those and we would have to change them on a less regular basis… once a week maybe or twice a week if we could.

If that gets too wet, too damp, and we don’t change it, it becomes a breeding ground for germs.”

The danger then is infection.

There are more than 3,000 seriously ill children like Maisie across the country and the charity WellChild says supplies must be ring-fenced for them.

The government has dissembled; it won’t address the subject directly.

So a statement merely says: “We have put in place a range of measures to address these challenges, including making it easier for clinicians to report shortages and identifying opportunities to open up new supply options and using additional brands.”

The Tories said nothing about actually supplying the equipment. We must conclude that they have no intention to do so.

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Why are people attacking the UK’s ambassador to the US over leaked memos?

Boris Johnson and Kim Darroch: One of these men is a competent diplomat and the other is a buffoon who rarely thinks before speaking. Which is which?

The Western Hemisphere seems to be losing the plot over Kim Darroch, the UK’s ambassador to the United States.

It seems he described US president Donald Trump as “incompetent” and “insecure”, and his administration as “inept” and “uniquely dysfunctional” in diplomatic memoranda that were not meant to become public knowledge.

Mr Trump has made a fuss, saying Sir Kim should be removed from office because “he is not well thought-of in the US. We will no longer deal with him”.

He has been supported by his good buddy Nigel Farage, who has called for the senior diplomat to be sacked.

It seems the leak was carried out in revenge for the ambassador’s alleged failure to promote a pro-Brexit UK.

Messrs Trump and Farage also seem well-briefed on this aspect of it, after the information was given to pro-Brexit hack Isabel Oakeshott.

Mr Trump tweeted:

The operative part is “I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.”

And Mr Farage said a future government under Boris Johnson, the Tory leadership front-runner, would be expected to remove Sir Kim: “If you take Boris at his word, people like Kim Darroch simply shouldn’t be around.”

How very unprofessional of them.

The simple fact is that it is Kim Darroch’s job to brief the UK government on his view of US political figures.

As a Foreign Office representative stated: “The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country.”

The fault lies with the Brexiteer (presumably) who leaked the memos – not with the ambassador.

And that is why (for a change) I find myself agreeing with Conservative politicians.

I agree with Liam Fox, who said: “Malicious leaks of this nature are unprofessional. They are unethical. And they are unpatriotic. Because they can actually lead to damage to that relationship which can, therefore, affect our security interests.

“I will be apologising for the fact that either our civil service, or elements of our political class, have not lived up to the expectations that either we have, or the United States has, about their behaviour, which in this particular case has lapsed in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way.”

At the time of writing – and to the best of my knowledge – Boris Johnson, who has been treated favourably by both Mr Trump and Mr Farage, has yet to comment on this matter.

Was this all a stunt to make BoJob look useful on the international stage?

Source: Theresa May has ‘full faith’ in Kim Darroch but rejects his view of Trump | Politics | The Guardian

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Staggering incompetence of the court service shows not everything is better online

Has anyone else had to contend with the monument to incompetence that is HM Courts and Tribunal Service’s online claim system?

I was advised to use this at the beginning of the year to address the Labour Party’s own lamentable mistreatment of me, that led to my expulsion from that organisation in November 2018. As the party had not followed its own procedures properly, I could sue for breach of contract and have the decision reversed.

I duly filed a claim on March 15 this year – and the instant I did so, the site went down.

I immediately emailed HMCTS to check that my claim had been received and all was well, and received a standard response saying I would receive a response within 10 days.

Then I had to deal with the false libel claim against me by two TV personalities. This vexatious nonsense took up a considerable amount of what little spare time I had, and I was unable to follow up on my query after the requisite 10 days passed. I did, however, notice that HMCTS had taken its fee from my bank account.

But I had heard nothing more of the matter by mid-April, and when the website finally came back up I found that my claim still presented itself as a draft – and this raised my suspicions again. In a spare moment I emailed HMCTS with all the information I had, asking what was happening with my claim.

Another long silence.

Then on June 5 I received a response! Nearly three months after I made my claim, HMCTS finally deigned to respond – with a request for information I did not have. Apparently non of the reference numbers I had provided made sense to the organisation – even though I was quoting its own numbers to it. I had to write back, explaining:

Your website crashed after I submitted it and is now claiming that it is merely a draft claim. But you took my money so clearly something else happened. Should I re-submit my claim (in the knowledge that your website is prone to crashing and may do so again)? If so, I will not want to pay another £25. Will you refund the amount paid on March 15? And how do you propose to compensate me for the delay? This matter has been left hanging for three months, because your site crashed and you could not respond until now.”

The follow-up response was a little quicker than the initial one – but I still didn’t receive it until today:

“Please click on the draft claim and submit again without entering any payment details. Only a single (original) payment should be taken and the claim will progress through. Should a second payment be taken, this is unlikely, this will be refunded into your account within a few days.

“Please note that claims remain in draft for a total of 90 days, after this they time they automatically expire.”

June 17 is 94 days from the date I submitted my claim.

I have written another email: “You have contacted me after the 90-day period my claim was permitted to remain in draft form expired. It no longer exists on the website.

“This will make it extremely difficult for me to submit it according to the terms you have described. Impossible, in fact.

“May I ask what is the point of offering me a solution that cannot be honoured?

“As I am sure you are aware, the process of drafting a claim on your site is long and detailed, and I am appalled at the thought that I will have to go through it all again… I also think I am well within my rights to say that my treatment by your service has been entirely unsatisfactory.

“I await a new proposal to resolve this matter.”

A website that crashes; contradictory reference numbers; an offer of resolution sent after it became unworkable – these are demonstrations of incompetence.

I am fast losing my faith in the ability of our law guardians to uphold their obligations.

To put it another way:

I’m fuming.

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If ‘dangerously incompetent’ Amber Rudd didn’t see leaked report on police cuts and violent crime, her plan to tackle it won’t work

“Dangerously incompetent”: Amber Rudd.

The Tories are trying to cover their embarrassment over this latest blunder, but it is already too late.

Amber Rudd is on record as saying police cuts have not contributed to the rise in serious violent crime on the UK’s streets – in direct contradiction of a Home Office Report that has been leaked to the press:

Government cuts to the police “may have encouraged” violent offenders and have “likely contributed” to a rise in serious violent crime, leaked Home Office documents have revealed.

The documents cast doubt on claims by the home secretary, Amber Rudd, on Sunday that cuts to the police were not to blame for rising violence.

The Home Office said it would not comment on leaked documents.

Rudd will on Monday launch a strategy aimed at tackling serious violent crime, which officials and ministers have been working on for months.

Any such strategy will be flawed if it does not take into account the harm caused by the Tory policy of cutting police numbers. And how can it, if the Home Secretary is determined that she hasn’t seen the report?

One person who has seen the report is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who commented on the situation in his speech launching the party’s London local elections campaign:

We always said cuts have consequences and now the Home Office’s own officials agree with us.

Todays leaked documents make a nonsense of the Tories’ repeated claims that their cuts to police numbers have had no effect.

You cannot protect local communities when you cut funding to local councils to such an extent they are unable to provide the essential youth service support that stops many young people being drawn into violent crime.

The Tory record on policing and crime is one of reckless failure. Plain and simple – you can’t have security on the cheap and cuts have consequences. Too many communities are living with those consequences.

But Ms Rudd has moved on. It seems she is now blaming local Police and Crime Commissioners:

In fact, it seems senior police officers and the London Police Commissioner had warned Ms Rudd about the logical result of her cuts:

What are we to conclude?

That Amber Rudd is, as she has been described, dangerously incompetent. Her claim that she has not seen a report that contradicts her position on police cuts is, as LabourList claims, “either incompetence or dishonest” – and neither is acceptable in a Minister of the Crown.

That Jeremy Corbyn has a much firmer grip on the situation than Ms Rudd.

That voters in London can indicate their dissatisfaction with the situation by voting Labour – and giving Ms Rudd and her Tory blunderers the kicking they deserve for placing the citizens of our capital city in danger.


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Jackass UK negotiators have just realised they can’t achieve Brexit in the transition period they’ve been offered

“Presidents Club? Never been there,” says David Davis, although his hand gestures tell a different story [Image: PA].

It is stupidity like this that undermines faith – not just in Brexit, which is a lost cause anyway, but in the Tory government and its advisors.

The whole kit and caboodle, as the saying goes.

The UK’s Brexit negotiators are considering asking the EU for a longer transition period than the one they have been offered, amid concerns it will not be long enough to prepare the country for exit.

The possibility of a longer transition comes amid increasing discontent from the Tory right about the period as an EU “vassal state”, and with negotiations on the issue set to start in earnest in the coming weeks.

A Brussels source told The Independent that British officials had asked about the feasibility of extending the period in a recent meeting, while UK diplomats admitted that it might need to stretch beyond the start of 2021 and would not rule out pushing for a later date in upcoming talks.

Source: UK negotiators consider asking Brussels for a longer Brexit transition period


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It’s open season on Jeremy Hunt! Let’s ALL tell him the facts of his failures

Jeremy Hunt.

There’s a new contact sport out in the Twittersphere: Hunt-baiting.

The rules are simple: Contact Jeremy Hunt on Twitter and pick a fight with him about any aspect of his treatment of the National Health Service.

Let him try to argue his case.

Then hit him with the facts and see if he runs to the BBC and lies about you. You can treat it as a relay if you like, with one person setting him up and another – or several others – hitting him with the facts

The game was (inadvertently) invented by actor and footballer Ralf Little, who challenged Mr Hunt in a lengthy Twitter thread. Mr Hunt then surprised everybody by appearing in a BBC Newsbeat interview, claiming that Mr Little had not produced any evidence to support his criticisms.

The information Mr Little quoted was older than Mr Hunt’s recent claims; if he really wasn’t knowingly lying, then Mr Hunt was admitting that he doesn’t actually know what is going on in the area of government for which he carries ultimate responsibility – that he is, in fact, incompetent.

And some people have been calling him out over it – people like Johanna Walden, who tweeted: “Everything about that Newsbeat interview with Hunt was disgraceful.”

Mr Hunt responded, and the game was on:

It was Rachel Clarke who provided the evidence:

Whether Jeremy Hunt has been back to Newsbeat yet is not clear. Perhaps you’d like to have a go?


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Weak, indecisive and untrustworthy – voters give brutal verdict on Theresa May in new poll | Political Scrapbook

A new poll published by YouGov make[s] grim reading for May.

Fewer people think she is competent:

In June, 53% of people said they thought she was competent. That is now down 11 points to 42%. The number of people who think she is incompetent is up from 32% to 41%. That includes 15% of Tory supporters and 26% of Leave voters.

A majority of voters think she is indecisive:

The number of people who think she is indecisive has risen from 50% to 52%. Among Tory voters, a huge 39% have that view.

People are losing their trust in her:

In June, a majority (52%) of voters said May was trustworthy, while just 31% said she was untrustworthy. There has been a huge reversal in this measure over the last 3 months and now 44% find her untrustworthy, compared 35% who trust her.

There is a big age gap on this measure, with people under 50 most likely not to trust her.

Most voters think she is weak:

After disproving her own “strong and stable” slogan during the general election, 52% of voters now view her as weak compared to just 28% who see her as strong. That compares to 46% and 33% respectively in June.

Despite the hard Brexit line she has adopted, more Leave voters see her as strong than week – by 40% to 39%.

Fewer people like her:

There has been a marked 8 point swing in the wrong direction for her in terms of likability since June. 46% of people dislike her now compared with 40% then and 30% like her compared with 32% then.

A huge 71% of 18-24 year olds dislike her. Only among the over 65s does she have a positive rating on this measure.

Source: Weak, indecisive and untrustworthy – voters give brutal verdict on Theresa May in new poll | Political Scrapbook


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