Tag Archives: jail

Nazanin to go back before Iranian court to face new charges – linked to Johnson’s blunder

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman has become a pawn in an international power struggle.


Just when it seemed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s Iranian prison ordeal was coming to an end, she’s being dragged back into court.

And that country’s officials have taken great pleasure in letting us know that her plight is due to blundering Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime muppet.

Johnson was the idiot who blurted out in Parliament – in 2017, when he was Foreign Secretary – that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “training journalists”.

She had been doing nothing of the kind.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, she had been doing nothing more sinister than visiting her family for the Persian New Year celebration when she was arrested in 2016.

But the Iranian authorities seized on Johnson’s idiotic remark and threatened to use it to add five more years to her five-year prison sentence.

Now – three years after Johnson misspoke, it seems they have decided to follow through on the threat:

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife will appear in court on Sunday accused of “spreading propaganda against the regime” in Iran.

Apparently that’s how they describe the teaching of journalism – which she wasn’t doing in any event.

Of course we all know that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment has more to do with the £400 million that the UK government owes to Iran.

It could not be paid before because of international sanctions – but when Boris Johnson’s career was in danger, it seems such concerns evaporated.

How contrary, then, for us to find that the money has not been paid, apparently because Johnson doesn’t want to upset Donald Trump.

Johnson, it seems, wanted to wait until after the US presidential election on November 3 because he wanted to know whether Trump would still be US president before taking action.

So the Iranian decision to go back to court now has put him in a particularly sticky situation.

Will he pay up and get Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe back?

Or will he delay, to stay on the right side of Donald Trump?

I think we all know the answer to that. Johnson is the runt of international politics.

When powerful people squabble, it is always the innocents who suffer.

Source: New Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe charges linked to Boris Johnson’s infamous gaffe – Mirror Online

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Extended jail term plan will lead to disaster

Behind bars: Boris Johnson’s plan for extended jail terms – stretching overstrained prisons beyond their limits – is criminal. But Johnson seems immune to punishment.

Conservatives can’t run prisons.

We all know this – right?

They tried privatising prisons and the cuts imposed by the privateers (in order to make a profit) meant wardens could not keep control.

Consider the failure to control drug use or even to stop drugs being passed into prisons.

Overcrowding led to unrest and even the occasional riot.

Now Boris Johnson has announced an intention to extend jail terms, meaning even more people will be packed into our limited prison space.

Or is he going to build more (like he promised to build more hospitals)?

Even if he achieved this – and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting – would he not simply turn them over to private companies that would cock it all up again?

Yes, of course he would.

The UK’s prime minister is deliberately plotting a disaster for the justice system.

Or is there evidence that I am mistaken?

Source: Watchdog warns of prison overcrowding as Boris Johnson vows to extend jail terms | The Independent

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Will Gove’s scaremongering put Boris Johnson in prison?

Behind bars: Considering all of the evidence, including his own behaviour in the weeks leading up to the vote on October 19, and Michael Gove’s decision to trigger Operation Yellowhammer, will a Scottish judge put Boris Johnson in prison?

Michael Gove has triggered Operation Yellowhammer – the Tory government’s contingency plan for a “no deal” Brexit, saying we cannot be sure the European Council will grant the Brexit delay that Boris Johnson has requested.

Why would he scaremonger like that? There’s no reason for the European Council to turn down the request.

Or is Mr Gove suggesting that the EU should pay more attention to Mr Johnson’s second letter, which states that he would prefer that a delay should be refused?

Won’t that put Mr Johnson in contempt of court?

He promised the Court of Session in Scotland that he would adhere to the provisions of the so-called Benn Act, meaning he would send a letter requesting a delay if Parliament did not pass his deal on October 19.

He has indeed sent such a letter – although unsigned. He also sent another missive asking the European Council to ignore the first – signed.

Today (October 21), Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, will rule on whether these actions constitute contempt of court.

Potential punishments could include a fine or even imprisonment.

It is possible that sanctions may be suspended to allow the prime minister to comply with the court’s ruling. But this might be a little difficult as the time for compliance was October 19.

And the fact that Mr Gove has triggered “no deal” preparations in the belief that the EU will not grant an extension, and his boss won’t get Parliament to pass his deal, suggests a belief in an intention to sabotage the Benn Act conditions at the very least.

Source: Michael Gove triggers no-deal Brexit contingency plans | Politics | The Guardian

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

‘Tommy Robinson’ to serve remainder of his original sentence for contempt of court

This was no surprise.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the far-right activist better-known by his stage name ‘Tommy Robinson’, has been sent to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence for contempt of court.

He had already served two months of a 13-month sentence when his lawyers managed to have him released on appeal, but a subsequent repeat trial confirmed his guilt.

As prisoners serve only half their sentences these days, those two months took four off the sentence the judge at the Old Bailey handed down today (July 11). He was ordered to serve nine months but will probably be out in four and a half.

Yaxley-Lennon is on record as claiming that the UK’s prisons are now run by Islamist terrorists, and that jailing him is the equivalent of a death sentence.

He appealed to Donald Trump to grant him asylum in the United States, ignoring the hypocrisy in the fact that he said the UK should refuse to take refugees from other countries because they were criminals.

This Writer wonders what he will be saying after he has served his sentence – if he survives it against all his own predictions.

Will all these terrorists he fears so much radicalise him?

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

How could Boris Johnson lead the Tory Party – or the country – from inside a jail cell?

Boris Johnson: His bags are packed but it’s too late to do a runner. He must appear in court to answer charges.

Boris Johnson’s prime ministerial ambition could soon be in tatters after he was told he will face trial for misconduct in public office over claims he made during the run-up to the EU membership referendum.

Mr Johnson supported the much-publicised claim – on the side of the so-called “Brexit bus” – that the UK sends £350m to the EU every week and the money could be better-used to pay for the NHS instead.

In fact, the UK does not send anything like as much money to the EU – and when the country decouples from the European bloc, the money it does send will need to be used to shore up the economy, which is already taking a battering.

If he is found guilty of the offences (there are three listed), then Mr Johnson may face six months’ imprisonment.

This may seriously harm his career plans. He is currently front-runner in the Conservative Party leadership race – but it would be hard for him to be Tory leader, let alone prime minister, from a jail cell. They don’t let you do it.

As far as I can tell, Mr Johnson’s lawyers are saying the court case is a “political stunt” – an attempt to use criminal law to regulate the quality of political debate.

That seems a very sticky wicket on which to go into bat.

We know that MPs lie.

Why not make it a criminal offence to do so?

Boris Johnson is to be summoned to court to face accusations of misconduct in public office over comments made in the run-up to the EU referendum, a judge has ruled.

The ruling follows a crowdfunded move to launch a private prosecution of the MP, who is currently the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest.

Johnson lied and engaged in criminal conduct when he repeatedly claimed during the 2016 EU referendum that the UK sent £350m a week to Brussels, lawyers for a 29-year-old businessman who has launched the prosecution bid told a court last week.

Source: Boris Johnson to appear in court over Brexit misconduct claims | Politics | The Guardian

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe may be released early – and it’s nothing to do with Boris Johnson

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

At least, that’s the impression This Writer is getting from the announcement today (December 21).

It seems Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe, will be deemed eligible for early release by the Iranian judiciary, as she has served one-third of her prison sentence.

She was detained by the authorities in Iran last year, on charges of trying to incite a “soft” revolt against the Iranian regime by training journalists, when she was trying to return home after a holiday there.

The announcement is a clear snub to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who recently visited Iran to try to get politicians there to release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The judiciary in Iran, like that in the UK, is separate from politicians there – there is a separation of powers which means that politicians will have had nothing to do with the decision.

So what good was Boris Johnson?

All he has done, it seems to This Writer, is make a catastrophic mistake that made Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s situation much worse – by inaccurately claiming he understand that she had been training journalists – and fail to improve matters despite a highly-publicised visit to Iran for that purpose.

Perhaps further information will emerge to suggest that Mr Johnson did have an influence, but in the meantime:

He was incompetent and then he was ineffectual. Boris Johnson should quit.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Terrorist Thomas Mair jailed for life for killing Jo Cox. Why did he do it?

Murderer and terrorist: Thomas Mair [Image: PA].

Murderer and terrorist: Thomas Mair [Image: PA].

This was a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist – and just the first sign of a wave of aggression, around the world.

People like Thomas Mair saw the anti-immigration rhetoric that fuelled the vote to leave the European Union as an endorsement of racist, nationalist views.

And the proliferation of hate crimes suggests those views appear to be on the rise in the United States of America, after the election of Donald Trump as President, and in continental Europe.

People are committing these crimes because they think they can. They think that, somehow, atrocities against their fellow human being are now permissible – or at least that the authorities will turn a blind eye.

But what makes them believe their racism, homophobia, sexism, sectarianism, anti-Semitism or whatever is justified, anyway?

Have we, as a culture, failed to address these issues?

This Writer finds that hard to believe. I’ve been brought up in the same culture as everybody else and my compassion for another person has never been conditional on the colour of their skin or the compatibility of their religious beliefs.

Yet these crimes have happened and are continuing to happen. Thomas Mair murdered Jo Cox on the basis of a falsehood – for a lie.

Why?

I know many Vox Political readers have been waiting to air their opinions on this very subject; now is your chance.

What on Earth do you think has been motivating this?

Thomas Mair has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

The 53-year-old shot and stabbed to death the mother-of-two in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June, a week before the EU referendum vote.

Mair shouted “Britain First” in the attack, but the judge said the true “patriot” was Mrs Cox, not Mair.

Prosecutors said Mair was motivated by hate and his crimes were “nothing less than acts of terrorism”.

Mair was also found guilty of having a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to help the MP, and having an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.

Source: Jo Cox: Man jailed for ‘terrorist’ murder of MP – BBC News

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Unemployment figures are a sanction-based stitch-up, research shows

Iain Duncan Smith: He's proud of the sanctions regime he introduced, in which Job Centre staff are expected to use possibly-fraudulent means to push people off benefits - and he doesn't care how many people they harm.

Iain Duncan Smith: He’s proud of the sanctions regime he introduced, in which Job Centre staff are expected to use possibly-fraudulent means to push people off benefits – and he doesn’t care how many people they harm.

The Coalition government will be crowing about the latest drop in unemployment today – according to official statistics. What a shame it’s all a load of bunk.

New research by Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has shown that only around one-fifth (20 per cent) of people who have been sanctioned off of Jobseekers’ Allowance have actually found work, leaving 1.6 million in limbo; they’re off the benefits system but researchers can only surmise that they are relying on food banks.

(Isn’t the Coalition government desperate to discredit food banks? Are ministers determined to drive the out-of-work population to starvation?)

This suggests that official Office for National Statistics figures are inaccurate. The latest batch – out today (January 21, 2015) – claim that unemployment dropped by 58,000 in the three months to November last year, when it totalled 1.91 million.

How can we trust these figures when it has been claimed there’s a sanction-based stitch-up going on?

The new figures are from the same ONS that is claiming wages are rising above inflation. Oh really? The figures show average earnings (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.8 per cent, which is more than the CPI rate of inflation – but not more than RPI, which is a more accurate measure of the costs affecting households.

What happens to those figures when executive pay is taken out of them? What’s the average for employees?

The revelation that sanctions have created a huge underclass of people – who have been refused benefits by Iain Duncan Smith’s homicidal system – casts all the ONS statistics into doubt.

If 1.6 million people are being denied benefits, that doesn’t stop them being unemployed.

Therefore the true unemployment figure should be almost twice as high as stated, at a massive 3.51 million.

That’s before other elements, such as the Work Programme, have been taken into account!

And what about the hidden cost of sanctions – to other taxpayer-funded services?

Professor David Stuckler of Oxford University explained this to The Guardian: “If, as we’re finding, people are out of work but without support – disappeared from view – there’s a real danger that other services will absorb the costs, like the NHS, possibly jails and food support systems, to name a few. Sanctions could be costing taxpayers more.”

Debbie Abrahams is a member of the House of Commons Work and Pensions committee, which was due to take evidence on benefit sanctions today. She told the paper: “This government has developed a culture in which Jobcentre Plus advisers are expected to sanction claimants using unjust, and potentially fraudulent, reasons in order get people ‘off-flow’. This creates the illusion the government is bringing down unemployment.”

[Image: The Void.]

[Image: The Void.]

Finally, there is the revelation that “physical punishment is now built into the benefit system, with sanctions both known and intended to cause a deterioration in health, says the DWP rule book”. Visit the Void blog for further details.

The evidence is stacking up, and shows that the Coalition government has falsified the figures to a shocking extent.

Any new government entering office after the general election will face an uphill struggle simply to uncover the depth of the depravity currently taking place.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
demonstrating the lies that undermine official figures.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

We *can* beat ‘evil’ benefit sanctions

austeritydolequeue

No less than two stories floated across the Vox Political desktop this morning to ensure that the big story of the day would not be the EU’s attempt to extort money from David Cameron*.

Both these stories concerned unfortunate UK citizens who had been forced to steal food after the Job Centre had sanctioned their benefits for missing appointments – not for job interviews, but with Job Centre staff.

Recovering drug addict Ian Mulholland, 47, is facing the prospect of leg amputation and was unable to attend his Job Centre because his ulcerated legs left him unable to get there. Sanctioned for nine weeks and unable to get to a food bank for the same reason he could not attend the Job Centre, hunger drove him to steal from his local supermarket. He was sentenced to 14 weeks at Her Majesty’s convenience, a lengthier stay than would be expected normally due to previous convictions. The practical upshot is that the taxpayer is now spending more on his upkeep than if he had not been sanctioned.

And Lucy Hill, who is in the work-related activity group of Employment and Support Allowance claimants, had no alternative other than to steal food for herself and her family after she missed an appointment with a Job Centre advisor who was supposed to be helping her with the training and skills necessary to get back into work when her health improved enough for her to take a job again. Her benefit was sanctioned as a result.

These stories are appalling indictments against our Tory-led government and its policies, which are intended to hurt people, simply for being poor. It makes no financial sense at all for the authorities to impose conditions on a person’s benefit that are impossible for them to meet (due, in both the cases mentioned, to obvious health problems) and then remove their benefit when they fail to comply, when this only forces them to commit a crime in order to survive, prompting police investigation, prosecution and possibly imprisonment, all at the taxpayers’ expense.

The Coalition’s ministers are supposed to be finding ways of saving money, yet they are clearly prepared to spend it like water if it means they have an opportunity to humiliate the poor.

Fortunately, it seems likely that this attitude has had its day.

Look at this article on the Mulholland case. As far as the author is concerned, Ian Mulholland was not the perpetrator of a crime but the victim – and the government, via its various benefit-withdrawing and law-enforcing arms, was the villain.

Commenters on the Lucy Hill article made it perfectly clear that they supported the defenceless single mum and not the faceless bureaucracy.

People are coming together to oppose these unreasonable, draconian decisions.

And this is good – because it’s how we’re going to beat them.

Remember the JSA claimant mentioned in this blog a few weeks ago? He interviewed for a job lasting 22.5 hours per week and then had to turn it down when managers tried to increase the hours to 40; the hotel told the Job Centre and he was left facing sanctions.

Well, on Wednesday he came to VP Towers in a state of some distress, with a letter from the Job Centre sanctioning his benefit for no less than three months. Fortunately, having seen your responses to the previous article, a course of action was available.

Before he left that afternoon, he had reported the hotel to HM Revenue and Customs for possible tax evasion (declaring tax and NI for only 22.5 hours instead of 40) and had written to the Job Centre decision-makers, explaining that he was innocent of wrong-doing, that he had reported the hotel for breaking the law, and that he wanted his sanction reconsidered.

We won’t identify the person who provided the advice (to save that person’s blushes) but our mutual friend is indebted to that person because he received a telephone call from the Job Centre this morning, apologising for what had happened and assuring him that his benefit would be reinstated.

It is possible to beat the bureaucrats, if we pool our knowledge and resources.

That is why it is important for cases like these to be brought to public attention – to make it possible for people with the necessary knowledge and skills to come forward and provide the help that is needed. In this case, it came from an individual with specialist knowledge; there are also Facebook groups such as Fightback and 4UP (and others, no doubt – Job Seeker Sanction Advice has been flagged up as another good one).

The help these people and groups provide is only a temporary, stop-gap solution. In the end, we must decide – as a society – to reject the small-minded, despotic attitude that induces governments to impose impossible conditions on benefit claimants, and we must demand a fairer deal for those who are least able to negotiate it for themselves.

That has to happen through pressure on political parties, and then at the ballot box.

But this – this is a start.

* Or was the EU just calling Call-Me-Dave’s bluff? Cameron has been crowing that the economy is purring along wonderfully but tax takings are down, meaning the State is not benefiting at all – and that is the only measure of success that the European Union will accept. What we’re being told is that the UK economy is not succeeding because the UK Treasury has nothing to show for it.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
standing up for the downtrodden!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

UK government shuts down free speech with threats of jail (tabloid newspapers exempted) – Pride’s Purge

When the government ministers or members of the establishment talk about free speech, they don’t mean free speech for plebs like you and me, writes Tom Pride.

As an illustration of this, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has just announced 2 year jail sentences for anyone found to have been dishing out abuse on social media.

But the law will not apply to tabloid newspapers, who dish out abuse on a regular basis – sometimes with tragic consequences?

If the government thinks dishing out abuse online should result in jail, fair enough. But the laws must also apply to newspaper barons too.

Please read the rest of the article, which includes details of how the Coalition government is rubbing the new rules in our faces, on Pride’s Purge.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook