Tag Archives: james

Hostilities recommence over alleged #Labourantisemitism ahead of EHRC report

After a relatively quiet summer when we all had other things on our mind, it seems the controversy over alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is about to well up all over again.

Hostilities have resumed ahead of publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on alleged institutional anti-Semitism in the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

According to The Guardian,

Senior Labour figures are braced for the equalities watchdog to rule that the party acted unlawfully in its treatment of Jewish members.

Sources close to the inquiry said an earlier draft report found evidence of indirect discrimination in the operation of the party’s processes, which would be a breach of equalities law.

A draft report is known to have been shared with the Labour party in July, as well as with a small number of key figures from the Corbyn administration.

There are understood to have been multiple challenges to the draft report and the EHRC’s final conclusions have been kept under wraps.

[Current Labour leader Keir] Starmer is likely to accept all of the report’s recommendations, though a legal challenge to the EHRC’s findings is planned by Jewish supporters of Corbyn if they disagree with its conclusions.

But we should all bear in mind that the anti-Corbyn Graun is widely considered to have played a large part in stirring up the scandal in a bid to see him forced out of the Labour leadership.

As an example of the hostilities that are breaking out, consider the last paragraph quoted above, saying that Jewish supporters of Jeremy Corbyn will launch a legal challenge to the EHRC’s findings if they disagree, and then consider this (with apologies for subjecting you to some vile language):

As you can see, the insults are already flying without a scrap of evidence one way or another.

Source: Labour braces for damning ruling in EHRC antisemitism report | Politics | The Guardian

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#ToryScum: MP whose inquiry into Tory Islamophobia never happened accuses left-wingers of racism

Sajid Javid: not only has he made himself look stupid, he has reminded us all that his political party is full of racists and reignited public fury at #ToryScum.

Conservatives who tried to claim on Twitter that left-wingers are racists have fallen foul of the facts – again.

Sajid Javid is the principle offender in this case – to judge by the number of responses to him, although James Cleverly was also involved, making it his second offence within the same day, along with a few other now-familiar Tory faces.

They were all responding to this clip, from the Twitter account @OneRuleForThem:

According to Javid, Cleverly, Tom Tugendhat, and the instigator of the #ToryScum controversy Christopher Clarkson, that advert is racist. Can you find anything in it that refers to Sunak’s ethnic origin at all, let alone in a negative way?

Neither can I.

But Javid responded thus:

Classic DARVO: “Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender”

Javid is saying there’s nothing dodgy about Sunak (despite the evidence in the clip). He’s attacking “The Left” (not just @OneRuleForThem, I notice) with a claim that they are racist. And he’s painting Sunak as a victim of that racism rather than the shady character his own history suggests he is.

Javid was joined by Cleverly, as this response shows:

Notice “The Left really” appears in both Javid’s and Cleverly’s tweets – because they were taken from the same source material?

At least the tweets from Clarkson and Tugendhat used different words – although that wasn’t enough to save them from public scorn:

Tugendhat’s tweet earned him a response from the clip’s creator – that made him look the fool he is:

The simple fact is that this particular organisation didn’t make a video about Hammond because it didn’t exist when he was Chancellor. It joined Twitter last month.

So let’s get back to the reaction to Javid. Here are a few examples:

That’s right – Javid did extract a promise from all the other then-Conservative leadership candidates that there would be an inquiry into Islamophobia into the Tory Party.

Once Boris Johnson was installed as leader (and new prime minister), the (also) newly-installed Tory chairman backpedalled on that promise. What was his name? Oh yes…

James Cleverly.

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Twit Tory’s tweet shows the Labour Welsh government is handling Covid-19 better than his rabble

James Cleverly: He was once described as “the Tories’ go-to eejit when they need someone to tweet absolute nonsense or defend the indefensible”.

James Cleverly is a gift to everyone who opposes Tories and Conservative policies.

His latest blunder was a tweet trying to claim that Labour would have failed to handle the Covid-19 crisis as well as the Conservatives – by suggesting a comparison between Westminster and the Labour-run Welsh government:

Wales is doing very well, thank you very much – as experts lined up to explain to the misnamed dimwit.

Worse still (for Cleverly), his tweet provided another Tory an opportunity to make an utter fool of himself – and by extension, his party – by trying to spread a lie about the current Welsh lockdown. Here’s the tweet:

Here’s the response that best skewers Cllr Hill:

Just for completeness, here is the Welsh Government’s response to Katie, from the thread in question:

Tesco has apologised for the mistake.

I wonder if Cllr Hill, any of the other Tories who have tried to spread the lie, or Cleverly himself will ever have the courage also to apologise?

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‘Go to the cinema’ says Johnson. Fool me twice, shame on… who?

Not the cinema announcement: but the caption behind Boris Johnson (that I made for a previous story) is also appropriate to this one.

I know it’s just a coincidence, but shortly after This Site published an article criticising the Johnson government for jeopardising the arts and entertainment in the UK during the Covid crisis, BoJob himself made a pronouncement about it.

He got it all wrong, of course.

Johnson should have announced financial help for venues and businesses – for the duration of the Covid crisis, while his restrictions make it impossible for them to break even, and in addition to any schemes already in place that clearly aren’t doing enough.*

You see, I’d rather be able to go to the pictures, even if the auditorium is practically empty by order of the government, than for the cinema to be closed – possibly for ever.

Instead, BoJob passed the buck to us – as usual.

“Go to the cinema,” he told us – just as he told us to go to the pub and the restaurant back in the summer.

And what happened?

There was a huge spike in Covid-19 infections and Johnson blamed us.

Fool us once, BoJob, shame on you. Fool us twice – shame on us.

What will you do if we go and there’s another increase in Covid infections? Blame us for your mistake again?

What will you do if we don’t, and lots of cinemas go out of business? Blame us again?

I think it’s best if we just ignore Johnson as an incompetent nincompoop and make a rule that any unhappy consequence is his concern, not ours.

Oh, and this will make it easier: the film he wants us to go and see? It’s the new James Bond, No Time To Die.

And its release has just been delayed until April next year.

And also: Cineworld is closing its 120 UK cinemas anyway.

So we can happily stay away for the time being, and still say we were following Johnson’s instructions.

And in the meantime, we can demand to know what he’s going to do about the economic crisis he caused.

Here are comments from just a few people who feel as I do:

*It seems this is unlikely to happen because Johnson and his government haven’t actually started any of these schemes. Here’s @RussInCheshire with The Week In Tory:

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Tory threat to our cinemas as their failure to cope with Covid hits entertainment industry

“Delayed AGAIN???” Daniel Craig wonders whether the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, will ever see cinema release.

I don’t want to have any “it’s not their fault” mewling over this.

Cineworld is not the only venue for the creative industries that is suffering as a result of the Johnson government’s failure to get a grip on Covid-19.

But while BoJob and his buddies funnel money hand over fist to their chums in fake firms, set up in a pretence at treating/preventing the disease, they’re letting our artists and entertainers go to the wall.

They’ll say it’s because they haven’t got a legal means of helping but I think they just want to end fun in our lifetime.

Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK cinemas in the coming weeks.

The firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now “unviable”.

The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.

Philippa Childs of entertainment and broadcasting union Bectu said: “The delay in the release of the Bond film along with the other delayed releases has plunged cinema into crisis.”

In a socially-distanced country, cinemas simply aren’t viable. Current guidelines mean operators should “organise seating to ensure two-metre distancing can be maintained; where two metres is not viable, one metre with risk mitigation is acceptable. Mitigations should be considered and those introduced set out in the risk assessment”. In Scotland, the two-metre rule must be maintained strictly.

That means only a handful of people can attend any auditorium at any time and it becomes unviable to employ the staff needed to run a venue.

It’s not often that I agree with this tweeter any more, but I’ll make an exception in this case:

Cineworld expects to make 5,500 staff unemployed while the 120-venue chain is closed – throwing them on the scant mercy of the Johnson government.

The hope is that they will be able to re-employ those members of their former staff who survive a winter of Covid-19 and the Tories’ harsh benefit conditions.

If that happens, I hope the company doesn’t take the easy – and very Tory – option of using this as an opportunity to cut staff pay and conditions. That would be a step too far.

Source: Cineworld to shut down UK screens after Bond film delay – BBC News

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Ofqual chief Sally Collier resigns – over letting Cummings chum’s company have contract?

Exams: If Sally Collier had examined Public First a little more closely, she might not have had to resign.

The big development in the ‘A’ level scandal yesterday (August 25) was the resignation of Ofqual boss Sally Collier – apparently under criticism about the algorithm that marked down students from poorer backgrounds.

That’s what Tory mouthpiece the BBC is saying:

Ofqual chief Ms Collier has been under fire for a controversial algorithm which changed GCSE and A-level marks, making them unfair, according to heads.

It also led to many A-level students losing university places they had been offered, and a crunch on degree places.

But didn’t that only happen because Ofqual had hired useless lobbying/research firm Public First, run by friends of Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove?

A spokesperson said: “Due to the exceptional circumstances presented by the cancellation of exams, the single tender justification process was used for this contract, due to the need to urgently procure the work, in line with our procurement policy.”

This comment makes it clear that Public First was hired to find a way forward for students’ exam results. It came up with the infamous algorithm and caused a scandal.

And we now know that the government paid £49,000 for that disaster.

So it seems Ms Collier has resigned, but the fault lies with James Frayne and Rachel Wolf, the people behind Public First.

Other contracts given to the firm under the “no competition” regulations which apply when a service is deemed “urgent” during emergency circumstances include £840,000 to research public opinion on government policies – including Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Not bad for a firm whose registered office is a residential address – a house – in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire.

Another contract saw the company handed £116,000 by the Department of Health and Social Care to identify ways to “lock in the lessons learned” by the Government during the Covid-19 crisis.

But will the Tories learn the obvious lesson – that Public First should not be hired to carry out any work under any circumstances at all, whether in an emergency or not?

It seems doubtful.

Source: Ofqual chief Sally Collier steps down after exams chaos – BBC News

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‘I’m no hypocrite’ says Dyson of Singapore move. Does he expect us to believe him?

James Dyson: Legs-it rather than Brexit. I used that phrase last time but enjoyed it so much I decided to use it again.

James Dyson has defended his decision to move his company’s head office to Singapore, saying Brexit played no part in the decision.

Instead, he reckons the eight-hour time difference between a head office in the UK and a production plant in Singapore could seriously affect the viability of his business there.

Isn’t it more feasible that he just wants to avoid having to pay increased import-export tariffs, and wants to avoid increased taxes that are likely if Brexit harms the economy in the way the experts expect?

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‘Taking vac control’ – how many Brextremist bosses will leave before we realise we’ve been conned?

James Dyson: Legs-it rather than Brexit.

James Dyson – what a patriot he is!

The inventor of the famous Dyson vacuum cleaner was one of the most prominent UK business leaders to support Brexit in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016.

After the result became known, he said leaving the Single Market would liberate the UK economy and allow the country to make trade deals around the world.

He said the UK should leave the EU without an interim deal and that “uncertainty is an opportunity”; and he said “we should just walk away and they will come to us”

How interesting, then, that he has decided not to be here when they do. Or should that be if they do?

Rather than stay in the UK and take advantage of all that opportunity he mentioned, Mr Dyson is moving his headquarters from Malmesbury to Singapore.

Angela Rayner articulated the feeling of many, I think, when she responded thus:

The message is clear: Mr Dyson doesn’t have faith in the UK’s ability to sustain his business, post-Brexit.

His words about “opportunity” and claims that foreign investment will “come to us” seem to have been just gusts of air, which is ironic for a maker of vacuum cleaners.

The announcement has attracted a wealth of criticism from those of us who don’t have Mr Dyson’s opportunities:

A Twitter user identifying as “Doogs” wittily suggested Mr Dyson was “taking vac control”.

Another, identifying as “Shop Steward” put our suspicions into words: “The thing is he’s a multimillionaire so he could stay here and still make a profit In fact he could stay here, improve workers pay & conditions, and still make a profit …but greed won’t allow that. No, profit must be maximised at all costs because enough is never enough.”

And the blogger Paul Bernal asked the question that formed the basis for this article’s headline:

I’m not sure either but Gavin Esler identified one almost immediately after Dyson:

It provoked this response:

I’m not sure who “the journalists of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse” may be, but they would be right to attack such people.

While P&O isn’t on record as having supported Brexit, its decision to abandon the UK is a clear signal to other businesses: Get out – if you can.

Dyson is on record, not just as a Brexiteer but as a Brextremist, and his decision reeks of the worst kind of hypocrisy.

He supported Brexit; he influenced other people to support it; and now he is abandoning us to the consequences while he scarpers, taking his business and any benefit it has for the economy with him.

Make no mistake: This man is toxic.

He has helped inflict economic ruin on the UK, both by encouraging us into Brexit and by taking his business out of the country before it happens.

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The great Leveson whitewash

Lord Justice Leveson, delivering his speech.

Oh, all right – greywash.

Please note: This is an initial reaction to the Leveson report, based on Lord Justice Leveson’s speech today (November 29). The report itself is 2,000 pages long and may contain much more that is of interest to us. But that will have to wait for another day.

Lord Justice Leveson has come out with his report which, in effect, advocates as little change to current press regulation as he thought he could get away with.

Jeremy Hunt, the Murdochs, George Osborne and David Cameron can all sleep comfortably tonight, in the knowledge that the skeletons in their closets have not been disturbed.

Leveson wants the press governed by a new self-regulatory body, underpinned by legislation, containing no serving editors or politicians.

But he says incidents in which the press have corrupted politicians or police are exceptions to the rule, and that the norm is a “robust” (he said that word a lot) relationship.

He said: “The lawbreaking in this area is typically hidden, with the victims unaware of what has happened… I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that corruption by the press is a widespread problem in relation to the police; however, I have identified issues to be addressed.”

On the relationship between press and politicians, he recommended steps to create greater transparency “so there is no risk of even the perception of bias”.

He said: “In a number of respects, the relationship between politicians and the press has been too close, conducted out of the public eye, between policymakers and those who stand to benefit.

“The power of the press to affect political fortunes may be used to affect policy. That undermines the belief in policy decisions being made genuinely in the public interest.”

I suppose you could say he did criticise the government with this line: “The press is entitled to lobby in its own interests, but it is the responsibility of the politicians to ensure their decisions are in the public interest. Their dealings with the press should be open and transparent and the public should have understanding of the process.”

That certainly hasn’t happened with regard to the relationships between David Cameron and either Andy Coulson or Rebekah Brooks, or the relationships of both Mr Cameron and George Osborne with the Murdochs, or indeed that of former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt with News Corporation/News International!

I don’t think his proposals will work. I think the transgressors will keep on doing what they have been doing, and the politicians will continue to pander to them because they influence the popular vote.

I would like to have seen Leveson criticise a situation that has seen powerful newspaper magnates worm their way into the retinues of ministers and even the Prime Minister; and especially welcome would be a request for an explanation, from the PM, of his over-close relationship with the former chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, who is even now awaiting trial for alleged criminal acts.

I would also like to see Leveson demand disclosure of the emails and texts that Mr Cameron did not provide to the inquiry or otherwise make public. What does he have to hide? Also, since the Prime Minister should be above reproach, should we conclude that his continued opacity in this regard is an admission that he is culpable of something, and therefore should we not demand his removal from office?

Instead, Leveson seems to have drawn a line under what happened. It is future relationships that he wants to safeguard. For those involved in the phone hacking scandals and the relationship between the Murdoch organisation and the Conservative Party, this means there will always be doubt in the public mind. Mr Cameron has lost public trust over this.

I would like to have seen Leveson question the way newspaper reporters have managed to get inside information from police forces across the country, because this raises serious issues about the corruptibility of our boys in blue. It takes two people to hand over confidential information – the one who’s asking for it and the one who provides it.

Perhaps that will follow but I doubt it. Despite Lord Justice Leveson’s beliefs, it seems this affair has damaged public perception of the police – as a whole – as well.