Tag Archives: james

Why is James Cleverly refusing to talk about UK weapons being used against Palestinians?

James Cleverly: He was once described as “the Tories’ go-to eejit when they need someone to tweet absolute nonsense or defend the indefensible”. Now it seems he’s not even bothering to say anything at all.

Here’s another story that should be all over the BBC’s prime-time news but, for some reason, seems to have been missed by the mostly-Tory news team there.

The information comes from Declassified UK, an independent investigative site run by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis. This Writer follows Kennard on Twitter and I am impressed by the information he provides and the opinions he puts forward. Therefore I think his site is trustworthy.

Here’s what it says:

Middle East Minister James Cleverly may be breaking the Ministerial Code by failing to answer questions put to him in the House of Commons. The Code demands that ministers have a duty to “be as open as possible with parliament” and to “give accurate and truthful information”.

The questions were about whether military equipment from the UK was used in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in May – which killed 66 Palestinian children.

The best response anybody appears to have received – to 14 questions that Declassified has identified – is that the UK “takes its export control responsibilities very seriously”. That is not an adequate answer.

There is an obvious conclusion to be drawn from this – and I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out for you.

But Cleverly certainly won’t spell out the facts for all of us unless he is forced to do so.

And, given the huge prominence the Israel-Palestine conflict received in the news during May, the absence of such pressure from mainstream media outlets like the BBC is deeply disturbing.

Britain’s Middle East minister James Cleverly is regularly refusing to provide answers to written questions posed to him by members of parliament, especially on UK arms exports to Israel, contravening House of Commons rules.

Source: Foreign minister James Cleverly accused of breaking UK…

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Johnson didn’t have power to change tax rules for Dyson, says former Attorney-General. Was Major Corruption lying AGAIN?

Boris Johnson: he should hang his head in shame. Sadly, he doesn’t have the self-awareness – this shot is just of him checking his notes at a prime ministerial broadcast.

Boris Johnson’s claim that he arranged a tax break for James Dyson was impossible because he doesn’t have the power, according to former Attorney-General (the government’s top lawyer) Dominic Grieve.

Johnson defended himself during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (April 21) after evidence emerged that Dyson had contacted him by texting his personal telephone, asking for tax breaks so Dyson staff who had relocated to Singapore after Brexit could return to the UK and build ventilators to tackle Covid-19 without paying tax penalties.

Johnson’s responses are shown in this tweet:

His responses in PMQs were that he refused to accept criticism for doing everything he could to ensure that the UK had the equipment it needed to fight the Covid crisis.

(This is risible when we remember that successive Conservative governments including Johnson’s had systematically weakened the nation’s ability to respond to a pandemic crisis, including selling PPE to China.)

In the end, Dyson provided no ventilators at all.

On the BBC’s Newsnight, former A-G Dominic Grieve made the legal situation abundantly clear:

So either Boris Johnson corruptly and illegally influenced the tax system so this industrialist, who campaigned for Brexit and then scarpered abroad to escape the consequences, could profit from a crisis…

… or everything he can do to secure help for the UK in a crisis is in fact nothing at all.

Major Corruption has shot himself in the foot, it seems.

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Lobbying corruption: Johnson caught promising Covid tax breaks to Dyson – who then provided NOTHING

Boris Johnson and James Dyson: could any of us have won tax breaks from the prime minister, if only we’d had his personal phone number?

Boris Johnson offered to “fix” the tax status of Dyson staff so they could work in the UK to provide ventilators in last year’s Covid-19 crisis – after Dyson sent a text message to the prime minister’s personal phone.

Dyson went on to provide absolutely no ventilators at all. Did his employees still get preferential tax status?

That is just one of the important questions that Johnson didn’t answer during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

The revelation is the latest development in the lobbying-related corruption scandal that began when former PM David Cameron’s activities on behalf of now-collapsed financier Greensill Capital came to light.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reported that

the PM assured businessman Sir James Dyson that his employees would not have to pay extra tax if they came to the UK to make ventilators during the pandemic.

Sir James, whose firm is now based in Singapore, wrote to the Treasury to ask for no change in tax status for staff.

But the BBC has seen text messages sent in March 2020 that show Sir James then went directly to the PM, with Mr Johnson replying: “I will fix it.”

She added, in an opinion piece on the subject,

There are thousands of different circumstances in which having those discussions is perfectly valid.

What about however, when the most powerful politician in the country sends a direct message to an influential businessman promising: “I will fix it tomo”?

A good question – and one that Johnson was asked (if not in so many words) by Keir Starmer shortly after midday yesterday (April 21).

He asked: “What is the right thing to do if he receives a text from a billionaire Conservative supporter asking him to fix tax rules.”

Johnson replied: “I make absolutely no apology for doing everything I could to secure ventilators for the people of this country.”

The trouble is, of course, that he didn’t secure any ventilators, despite having fixed tax rules for his supporter.

He said he had done “everything I could” so we may conclude that he did change the rules for Dyson employees.

But – I reiterate – Dyson did not provide any ventilators:

So we need to know what Dyson did with the tax breaks his firm received and whether he still benefits from them now, despite not having done what he promised to do.

Or did Johnson lie about doing “everything” he could?

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Elections 2021: Labour’s gutlessness and treachery is all-too clear in this tale of two representatives

Alex Sobel: he’s just the latest in a long line of Labour members to be stabbed in the back by Keir Starmer.

It seems Keir Starmer’s Parliamentary Labour Party will leave no depth unplumbed in its relentless quest to alienate the whole UK electorate.

The latest travesty is the case of Shadow Tourism Minister Alex Sobel, who said in a podcast that, after being initially unwilling to talk with big businesses, he had swallowed his prejudices and started dialogues over climate change.

He went on to say that several of the companies he has met have “seen the way the wind is blowing” on climate, and “the private sector is ahead of the UK government”.

Then The Sun got hold of the story and twisted his words, claiming that he said businesspeople are “the enemy” now. This is the opposite of what he was saying; he actually stated that the private sector was advanced in its thinking and it is the government that is holding progress back.

And then Keir Starmer and his Labour leadership stepped in with their enormous jackboots and well and truly messed matters up.

It seems Starmer demanded an apology from Sobel. Then he went to the press and came out with this blood-curdling claptrap:

“Under my leadership, I’ve been very, very clear that the Labour party is pro-business,” Starmer said. “We’re more than pro-business, we want a partnership with business.”

He added: “Alex Sobel knows what he said was wrong. He has apologised. He’s apologised to me. The Labour party, under my leadership, is very clearly pro-business. We want a partnership with business. And Alex Sobel understands that.”

Labour says no pressure was put on Sobel, but This Writer can’t see any way he would have apologised otherwise; he had no reason to.

It is, however, very much “in character” for a Labour leadership that would apologise to its own shadow (if it ever stepped out of the shadows long enough to see one).

The obvious howler is the anti-Semitism “crisis” that Starmer spent months whipping up again after it had gone quiet.

Rather than stand up for his MPs, candidates and members who have been falsely accused, he persecuted them wholesale, while apologising to the world for them every having been allowed into the party.

Not a scrap of evidence ever seemed to be on display.

Contrast this with the way the Tories react when one of theirs is criticised… Priti Patel, for example.

Among her many transgressions is the way she shattered the Ministerial Code by bullying civil servants, not only at the Home Office but in the Departments for Work and Pensions and of International Development.

She should have been forced to resign. That is the rule. But Boris Johnson stuck by her and demanded that she had done nothing wrong and must keep her job.

So she did.

See the difference? Labour apologises and punishes its own at the slightest opportunity; the Tories stick together (until they start falling in the polls, of course, but that’s another story).

Smart minds in the Labour Party have spotted this and are making the only choice available to them.

So let us applaud James Osben, twice Labour’s general election candidate in Newton Abbot, who has not only resigned his membership but issued an open letter to Keir Starmer, explaining his reasons in no uncertain terms.

Here are some of the highlights:

“I am saddened, deeply disappointed and extremely troubled by the Labour Party’s current behaviour and actions in suspending hundreds of members from multiple CLPs.

“I stood as the Parliamentary Candidate in Newton Abbot in 2017 and 2019. Labour came second for the first time ever in this constituency in 2017… I and my friends and colleagues within the Party felt proud of what we achieved and we had hope, like never before, of achieving so much more for our local community.

“Any hope of this being achieved via the Labour party is now gone. You have suspended most of the Newton Abbot CLP officers and many have already resigned.

“Like my friends I will continue with community projects, supporting people who need help but I can no longer do this under the Labour banner when the Labour Party is failing to represent these people.

“I no longer feel that the Labour Party is representing me and the millions of people who need a government that is on their side.

“For the first time ever, I have felt uncomfortable, unsafe and unrepresented in the Labour Party. Why is this? My values have not changed nor have my principles. As Tony Benn once said, we should be signposts and not weathercocks. What has changed within the Labour Party?

“Why are members feeling unsafe, intimidated and fearful? Why does there appear to be a disturbing clampdown on democracy and free speech within the party?

“Thousands of members have resigned. You have suspended hundreds more. What is your aim? What is your purpose? What are your objectives?

“The Labour Party in Newton Abbot has now been severely crippled in the run-up to the May 2021 elections because of the actions of Keir Starmer and David Evans.

“Is it your aim to ensure a Labour Government isn’t elected in 2024? It certainly seems so.”

It’s a long letter and you can read it in full over on Skwawkbox.

This Writer can do nothing but endorse the sentiments Mr Osben expresses. They mirror many of my own feelings; long-term readers will know that I often refer to Tony Benn’s signposts and weathercocks comparison.

He also makes good points about the psychological harm being done to Labour Party members by Starmer’s totalitarian leadership.

Put this together with the treatment of Alex Sobel and we see a Labour Party that won’t even stand up for its own MPs and candidates.

And, in the run-up to the local elections in May, there is no reason to believe that Labour will stand up for any voters either.

Source: Labour MP apologises for saying he once saw business as ‘the enemy’ | Labour | The Guardian

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Johnson’s media buddies try to deny similarities between him and Trump

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson: one hides in a bunker, the other once hid in a fridge. Check out the body language. And those are just tips of the iceberg [Composite: Laura Tisdale/Twitter].

We said they would do this:

The Times was just the first to actually get there.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. As James Foster states, the author of the piece, one James Forsyth, is the husband of Allegra Stratton, Johnson’s press secretary.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that he’s the one writing the first propaganda piece asserting that Boris Johnson isn’t politically aligned with Donald Trump, after Trump whipped up his far-right followers in the United States to riot against his presidential election defeat?

I don’t.

Nor do many other people, by all appearances:

And people are queuing up to remind us all of the similarities:

Feel free to bookmark this article, should you need to be reminded of Johnson’s character at some time in the future.

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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

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
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:

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