Tag Archives: Independent

Johnson’s promise of independent Covid-19 inquiry is worth as little as all his other vows

If you were relieved when Boris Johnson promised an independent inquiry into his government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, you’ve missed the point.

Boris Johnson promises the world. He delivers very little – if not actually nothing at all.

It costs him nothing to say he’ll have work done – and we should all know by now that he will spend nothing on the work.

In fact, his response to Ed Davey’s question followed a classic pattern.

He said: “I do not believe that now, in the middle of combating the pandemic as we are, is the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry.”

This is the classic delaying tactic, invariably followed by a promise to hold one at a non-specific point later on:

“But of course we will seek to learn the lessons of the pandemic in the future, and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened.”

Just you try to get him to honour that promise!

He’ll keep stalling with “Now is not the time” excuses for a while, and then he’ll cancel the whole idea altogether with:

“We’ve all moved on now.”

You know it. I know it.

The Twitter commentariat certainly know it – and have responded with choice examples of previous Johnson promises that have come to nothing:

https://twitter.com/MIMJO2000/status/1283397823355146240

And take note:

If you really want an inquiry into the government’s homicidal response to Covid-19, This Writer recommends contributing to that which is currently being carried out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Covid-19:

Source: Coronavirus: PM promises future independent inquiry – BBC News

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Met police refers itself to police watchdog over stop-and-search of athletes’ car

That was quick.

This Writer only published Vox Political‘s story about the Metropolitan police targeting black athletes Ricardo dos Santos, Bianca Williams and their three-month-old baby for a stop/search a couple of hours ago, and already the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct!

If you want something to happen, get me to write about it.

But seriously…

It actually took several days and the threat of a court case for this matter to be referred to the IOPC, and This Writer is concerned that we’ll see another stitch-up.

The IOPC blotted its copy book with its whitewashing of the relationship between Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri, and I fear that any investigation of this case will go the same way.

It occur to me that, if the IOPC – and the police in general – want us to accept any verdict on this, we’ll have to see all the evidence when the report comes in.

That seems the best way to ensure fairness. Don’t you agree?

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over the actions of its officers in a stop and search involving athlete Bianca Williams.

The 26-year-old Team GB sprinter was dragged from the vehicle and handcuffed in Maida Vale, West London on Saturday along with partner Ricardo dos Santos, a Portuguese 400m runner, in front of their three month-old-son.

The athlete has since accused the Met of racial profiling – telling LBC radio she believes they were stopped because the car is all black and her partner is a black man. “There is no other reason,” she added.

Source: Bianca Williams: Metropolitan Police refers itself to watchdog after stopping Team GB athlete’s car | The Independent

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Did these omissions and vaguenesses influence the Johnson-Arcuri investigation whitewash the prime minister?

Johnson and Arcuri: the IOPC report suggests information was deleted or delayed to clear the prime minister of any wrong-doing.

Records were deleted or never existed, information was delayed and officers revealed they were influenced to act a particular way in the matter of Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, a police report has revealed.

Is this how the investigation into that relationship has been made to say there was no impropriety?

Why were records relating to this case deleted – what did they cover and when were the deletions made? We may never know, but the questions should be enough to raise suspicion.

Why were some records never made? The report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct remarks on them so it is reasonable to believe that they were necessary. Who was responsible for making these records? What information would they have provided?

Why did the third parties mentioned in the report delay providing their information? What influenced them to inconvenience the investigation and would their information have been different, had they not done so? What was the subject of the information they had been asked to provide?

Possibly most damning is the statement that officers working for Johnson and making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions “thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making”.

Why would they have thought that? Did Johnson, or one of his aides, tell them this was the case and/or that they should give her the money/include her in the junkets?

Because that is how this looks!

The IOPC review took longer than expected due to the poor quality of information provided in the initial referral, a lack of records and delays in third parties providing information. Some of the records which would have assisted the review either never existed or have been deleted.

Director General Michael Lockwood said:“While there was no evidence that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions,  there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making. “

Our review established there was a close association between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri and there may have been an intimate relationship.

The GLA code of conduct which applied at the time meant that, even if the relationship was intimate, Mr Johnson had no obligation to include Ms Arcuri’s business interests in his own register of interests.

However, under the broader Nolan Principles of Public Life, our review suggests it would have been wise for Mr Johnson to have declared this as a conflict of interest, and a failure to do so could have constituted a breach of these broader principles contained within the GLA 2012 Code of Conduct.  As this does not amount to a potential criminal offence, this is now a matter for the GLA to consider.

You see, the report states that

The IOPC’s Operation Lansdowne review found no evidence indicating Mr Johnson influenced the payment of any sponsorship monies to Ms Arcuri or that he influenced or played an active part in securing her participation in trade missions.

That may be so – but if this is because evidence was destroyed and witnesses were vague, that is not enough to prove any kind of innocence.

The report ends with a list of recommendations for the Greater London Authority and London & Partners to improve their policies, procedures and record-keeping.

This would not have been necessary, had these organisations been able to provide full and frank answers to the inquiry’s questions.

It seems clear that – as This Writer stated in a previous article – the investigation has been an undeserved whitewash.

Source: No criminal investigation of Boris Johnson for misconduct in public office while Mayor of London | Independent Office for Police Conduct

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Police inquiry whitewashes Johnson’s links with Jennifer Arcuri

Johnson and Arcuri: the IOPC delayed its report into their relationship by months, even after its declared reason for doing so (local elections) was cancelled.

Well, what did we expect?

This Writer has noticed a distinct reluctance on the part of the police to investigate any alleged wrongdoings of government ministers – including and especially the prime minister – ever since I started writing politics.

George Osborne’s paddock is an example that leaps to mind, having written about it again within the past week.

It seems these people – squalid though they may be – are utterly above the law.

So there’s evidence to believe that Johnson had an intimate relationship with Ms Arcuri, then?

But the £126,000 he gave her in three separate deals was entirely appropriate?

And so were the decisions to bring her on three trade missions in 2014 and 2015?

Will the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which carried out this investigation, be taking questions on this decision and defending its findings?

Or will it just stonewall as usual and say “this is what we found, like it or lump it”?

The good news is that the arrival of this decision – several months late, and for no reason after local elections were cancelled – means other inquiries by the London Assembly and the London Mayor’s Office can now get back under way.

Perhaps these organisations will return a more believable verdict than our supposedly-impartial law guardians.

For clarity: if the police have cleared Johnson of criminal behaviour in this matter, I don’t believe a word of it.

Source: Boris Johnson will not face criminal probe into links with Jennifer Arcuri, sources say – Mirror Online

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Is this the reason Lancet editor said government advisors were lying on Covid-19?

Dominic Cummings: he can’t give advice on science, so why has he been attending Sage meetings on handling coronavirus?

Dominic Cummings and a data scientist from his Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, have been influencing the scientific group advising the government on coronavirus, it has been revealed.

Is this the reason Lancet editor Richard Horton reckons “supposedly independent medical advisors” have been telling “manifest untruths” – lying – to support a “political regime whose credibility is rapidly collapsing”?

We have already heard that Cummings was involved in a meeting in late January, when Covid-19 was played down as “just a bit of flu”.

He apparently said the UK would be better able to resist a second wave of the disease next winter if 60-80 per cent of the population became infected and the survivors developed “herd immunity”.

Cummings was paraphrased after speaking at a private engagement at the end of February, in which he said the government’s strategy was “herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”.

Now The Guardian has claimed that both Cummings and Warner have been taking part in meetings of the group, raising questions about the independence of its scientific advice.

The government’s former chief scientific adviser Sir David King is quoted in the article, saying Cummings may have been reporting his own “interpretation” of Sage advice to Boris Johnson.

Mr Horton wrote in the Lancet criticising Dr Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, at the end of March. She had stated that England had a “perfectly adequate” supply of Personal Protective Equipment.

We all now know that this was not true.

Mr Horton wrote: “I am sure Dr Harries believed what she said. But she was wrong and she should apologise to the thousands of health workers who still have no access to WHO-standard PPE.”

On Sunday, Dr Harries seems to have made matters worse by saying: “The UK, regardless of the position that we may be in now, has been an international exemplar in preparedness.”

It sounds like propaganda.

And what about when government ministers say they have been “following scientific advice”?

If they’ve been getting this advice from Dominic Cummings, then it cannot be considered to have any value at all.

Source: Revealed: Dominic Cummings on secret scientific advisory group for Covid-19 | World news | The Guardian

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Police watchdog has delayed Boris Johnson-Jennifer Arcuri inquiry. Corruption?

Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri: What have they been up to? And why won’t the appropriate authorities investigate?

Where is the corruption investigation into Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri?

That lady’s own pronouncements in the days and weeks after the initial allegations were made should be enough to prompt an inquiry.

But nothing has happened. We have heard nothing.

It’s like the report into Russian interference in UK politics – as though someone is hoping we’ll all forget about it.

Well, we haven’t.

And the longer the delay, the more suspicious its causes – and the people responsible for them – seem.

That means people like Sol Naseem, IOPC London director, who is apparently insisting that the inquiry isn’t being delayed – just that his organisation is continuing to collect information and take legal advice.

Would that be advice on how to avoid conducting any kind of inquiry at all into apparent wrongdoing by the man who is now UK prime minister?

The police watchdog is facing accusations that it is dragging its feet on a decision about whether to investigate Boris Johnson for possible criminal misconduct over his friendship with the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri when he was London mayor.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) insists it has received no pressure from the government over the decision, which had been expected before last month’s general election, or its timing.

In October the IOPC indicated it would take about a month to decide whether Johnson had a case to answer. But the watchdog now says it is still conducting a “scoping exercise” on the decision. It has also continued to request new information from the mayor’s promotion agency, London and Partners (L&P), this month.

Source: Police watchdog criticised over Boris Johnson-Jennifer Arcuri inquiry delay | UK news | The Guardian

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Tory rebels are set to call Dictator Johnson’s bluff

He THINKS he’s the law: Dominic Cummings, the Leave campaigner now seen as Boris Johnson’s top henchman, warns Tory rebels including David Gauke, Philip Hammond and – is that Theresa May or Ken Clarke? Michael Gove cheers him on while Dictator Johnson, wrapped in a Union Flag like a good ultra-nationalist fascist, watches from the background in this cartoon by Morton Morland.

Tory MPs who say they will not support Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit may stand as independent Conservatives if he goes through with his threat to withdraw the whip from them – effectively expelling them from his party in Parliament.

The Dictator’s warning is already seen as an empty threat by many, as he would lose his majority in Parliament if he goes through with it.

And if BoJob’s government falls as a result, then he will not be leader and will be unable to follow through his threat to stop them standing as Tory election candidates.

So it could be crippling to him that as many as 20 Tory MPs are preparing to defy him:

The Mirror report, to which the tweet links, states that potential rebel MPs had been expecting to attend a meeting with Mr Johnson today (September 2), but this was cancelled after David Gauke appeared on a TV interview and said he was prepared to stand as an independent candidate in a future election, in the “national interest”.

BoJob said he would hold a “summit” meeting with Philip Hammond instead, but it seems unlikely that this will mollify the potential rebels.

The Dictator’s ultimatum means MPs who were cabinet ministers just six weeks ago may find themselves ejected from the party they used to lead in a matter of days – including, possibly, former prime minister Theresa May.

Also in the firing line are Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Dominic Grieve.

Some leading members of the Johnson camp have – astonishingly – claimed that nobody will be deselected at all, in what seems a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from what’s going on – particularly with reference to the apparent rebel ringleader, David Gauke:

It has been suggested that James Cleverly’s tweet may be deleted soon, so let’s just repeat its claim: “THERE IS NO DESELECTION MECHANISM IN THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY. We have had these Leave EU stories amplified by the press for months and no Conservative MP has been deselected. David Gauke is a great MP and a huge asset to our party.”

The threat from the Johnson camp has already been likened to a Stalinist purge, with some commentators pointing out that the only reason the mass media aren’t using those words is because it is happening in the Conservative Party and not Labour:

Indeed, the fact that Labour has not purged any MPs is being used against the Johnson regime:

But the most clear comparison is with Adolf Hitler – against whom Dictator Johnson has actually made himself appear the less acceptable figure:

Some have even adopted the optimistic view that this crisis could finish the Conservatives for good:

https://twitter.com/SurreyAmps/status/1168171760522604546

This Writer would not go that far. Conservatives are resilient and seem to have the survival instinct of the mythical hydra; cut off their head and two more will take its place.

And they are wily, too. Where the stick seems ineffective, Johnson and Cummings may try to apply the carrot and bribe their wayward colleagues back into line.

But the possible loss of his majority could represent a quantum leap forward in the battle against Boris Johnson’s bid to become the UK’s dictator.

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Are the Conservatives backpedalling on plans for an investigation into Islamophobia AGAIN?

Boris Johnson’s comments about the clothes worn by Muslim women may be considered Islamophobic. Is this why he seems to be rowing back on his offer of an independent inquiry into anti-Islam behaviour among Tories?

The Conservative government won’t want anybody to know it is going back on its new leader’s promise of an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party.

So please make sure as many people as possible get to read the following:

The new Conservative chair, James Cleverly, has been strongly criticised after apparently reneging on a promise given for an independent inquiry focusing on Islamophobia in the party.

Boris Johnson backed the proposal along with the four other candidates still in the race when it was raised by Sajid Javid during the BBC Tory leadership debate in June.

In an interview on Sunday, Cleverly said there would be an independent inquiry but he did not explicitly confirm that it would be be specific to Islamophobia rather than a general inquiry into racism.

Subsequently, a party source told the Guardian that the party was considering options for “an investigation into all types of prejudice and discrimination”, rather than the Islamophobia-specific one that the Muslim Council of Britain has been calling for.

A more generalised inquiry into racism may be able to marginalise concerns about Islamophobia in a way that would not be possible if it was the focus of investigations.

The Tories should not be allowed to get away with these constant betrayals.

Source: New Tory chair appears to renege on promise of Islamophobia inquiry | Politics | The Guardian

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Jeremy Corbyn: STAND FIRM against demands to outsource anti-Semitism investigations

Jeremy Corbyn is clearly not an enemy of Jewish people.

As the shadow cabinet prepares to meet today (July 22) to discuss criticisms over the way Labour has handled anti-Semitism complaints, This Site says to Jeremy Corbyn: STAND FIRM.

Right-wingers in the party are calling for the leadership to outsource handling of anti-Semitism complaints to an “independent” body – but nobody has actually named that body.

So who will it be?

Could it be the Jewish Labour Movement, whose members illicitly recorded Jackie Walker at a so-called “safe space” meeting at which attendees were encouraged to discuss concerns that may be considered questionable – and then handed a version of that recording to a newspaper as evidence of anti-Semitism, in an appalling display of bad faith?

That would not be acceptable.

Nor could Labour hand the matter over to the Board of Deputies of British Jews – because of political bias. It is possible that findings would be rigged to harm the Labour Party for political reasons.

And the so-called charity, the Campaign Against Antisemitism is the last organisation that could ever be considered, as it has been responsible for fabricating claims – I know, as This Writer was one of its victims.

The simple fact is that Labour does not have a problem with anti-Semites going unpunished. The problem is the persecution of innocent – and decent – party members.

So, to Mr Corbyn, This Writer says: RESIST demands to outsource anti-Semitism investigations because this will only worsen the problem. Seek advice from lawyers and reform party processes in line with national law. And scrap the National Constitutional Committee’s power of expulsion, which has been abused by biased panel chairpeople.

Source: Labour: Shadow cabinet to discuss anti-Semitism criticisms – BBC News

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Inquiry launched into Corbyn ‘frailty’ claim by civil servants – but it isn’t independent

Not so frail: Jeremy Corbyn looked perfectly healthy when he scaled the wall at a climbing centre in Leeds last October. If senior civil servants have been briefing that he is ‘frail’, perhaps they had an ulterior political motive.

The Cabinet Office has launched an inquiry after senior civil service sources were said to have claimed that the considered Jeremy Corbyn “too frail” to be prime minister – but it won’t be the independent inquiry that Mr Corbyn wants.

The prime minister’s spokesman stated: “The Cabinet Office is investigating this potential breach of the civil service code fully and fairly just as it would any other. If we are able to identify an individual responsible we will take disciplinary action.”

Mr Corbyn, 70, had demanded a “speedy and thorough” independent inquiry after The Times reported that two senior civil servants had claimed that he might have to stand down due to health issues.

In a letter to Cabinet Office secretary Mark Sedwill, he stated that the matter had “undermined confidence in the principle of civil service neutrality”, adding that “such discussions, based on false assumptions, should not be taking place, nor shared with a newspaper”.

He also stated: “For there to be trust in any investigation, there need to be assurances on its scope and independence. In the light of this, I would urge you to ensure that there is a speedy and thorough independent investigation, rather than one carried out by the Cabinet Office.”

In spite of this, the Cabinet Office has launched its own inquiry.

Will we be able to trust the findings of the report – and any action taken on those findings?

That will depend on what those findings are – and the manner in which they are reported.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

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