Tag Archives: Jeremy Hunt

Refusal to condemn Trump’s racist tweets highlights where the problem lies in BRITISH politics

Victims of racism and misogyny: Donald Trump has told these four Congresswomen to “go back” to the countries from which they came; they are all US citizens.

Right-wing, and so-called ‘centrist’, politicians in the UK have validated misogyny and racism – and fake claims of anti-Semitism – by failing to condemn the racist tweets in which Donald Trump attacked four US Congresswomen.

All are from ethnic minorities although three were born in the United States, but Mr Trump suggested they should all “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

It’s as bad as Theresa May’s racist advertising lorries from 2013, which bore the legend, “Go home.” Here’s what he said:

He has doubled-down on his words in subsequent tweets:

Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have condemned Mr Trump’s words. Ms Omar said his “blatantly racist attack” on four women of colour was “the agenda of white nationalists”, while Ms Tlaib called it “simply a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook”.

Notably failing to condemn Mr Trump’s racism were Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt. They criticised Mr Trump for using the words he did, but both repeatedly refused to say whether they considered the US president’s remarks to be racist.

Commentators in the UK have taken note of this spinelessness on the part of these men, one of whom is certain to be the UK’s new political leader before the end of the month.

Absolutely right.

Note that Jeremy Corbyn was quick to recognise racism. Messrs Hunt and Johnson failed to do so – but were happy to accuse Mr Corbyn of being a racist, on the basis of no hard evidence at all.

Indeed!

Do you agree? Mr Maginn also stated:

On the anti-Semitic aspect of the claims, we have this:

Ah, but of course we do, as Rachael’s sarcastic tweet highlights.

Yes. Well done, UK-based supporters of Donald Trump, on your exemplary service to fascism.

You have supported false, misogynistic and racist claims against democratically-elected representatives of people in the United States.

You have supported the weaponisation of false allegations of anti-Semitism against the same women – and the false labelling of political opposition to the Israeli government as anti-Semitism.

In doing so, you have supported the liars in the UK who have also weaponised false allegations of anti-Semitism and false labelling of political opposition to the Israeli government as anti-Semitism.

And you have done it for selfish reasons (“a sweetheart trade deal that would put our NHS at risk”).

Anybody who actually supports this – especially Conservatives who have or will vote for either candidate in their leader election – should crawl back under their rock and die of shame.

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Tax and spend pledges show neither Johnson nor Hunt can be trusted with our money

Johnson and Hunt: I wanted to use the image someone mocked up of them as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ but I couldn’t find it.

Has the Tory leadership election degenerated into a contest about who can lie the most blatantly and get away with it?

If their tax-and-spend pledges are any yardstick, it has.

Jeremy Hunt wants to spend £20 billion from Brexit “war chest” that will only exist if the UK manages an exit deal with the EU – and that would only be available for a year. That’s not enough for permanent changes.

And Boris Johnson promised public sector pay rises that were coming anyway as the years-long Tory-imposed pay freeze finally comes to an end.

According to Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, both candidates were really saying that they are willing to borrow more money.

This means they are happy to continue racking up the highest national debt in the UK’s history – something for which the Conservatives used to blame Labour at every opportunity.

Labour, meanwhile, is having a great time mocking both candidates’ “reckless spending commitments”.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party went to great lengths to disprove claims that its own spending plans were unfunded during the 2017 election campaign, when Theresa May proved unable to do the same.

Now it seems both Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt are unable to do their maths.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have been accused of misleading the public with “extraordinary” tax-and-spending pledges, as leading economists and senior Tories unite in criticism.

The two Tory leadership candidates came under fire after Mr Hunt unveiled a no-deal Brexit spending splurge worth almost £20bn – while a Johnson ally promised big public sector pay rises if the favourite wins.

The spending race provoked alarm from Conservatives, including Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and the former leadership contender Rory Stewart, who warned that such promises would make it impossible to attack Jeremy Corbyn for his “unfunded” pledges.

The head of the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) went further, saying the two candidates were misleading voters in claiming they could dip into a £27bn “war chest”.

Paul Johnson pointed out it was a figure for one year only, so could not be used for permanent tax-and-spending changes – and it would not be available at all if the UK crashes out of the EU.

“There have been some extraordinary pledges – they add up into the tens of billions of pounds,” the IFS director said.

“They claim, somehow, that these will be paid for from this so-called Brexit war chest. Well, they are not going to be.

“First, that is only available in the event of no deal not happening. And, in any case, what they are just saying is they are willing to borrow more.”

Mr Hunt, as he set a new deadline of 30 September for a no deal becoming inevitable, pledged £6bn to compensate some industries from tariffs – claiming £1 trillion had been spent to bail out the banks.

But Mr Johnson said: “It is simply not true that, in any real sense, we spent £1 trillion bailing out the banks in the same way that he’s referring to potentially finding £6bn for the farmers and fishermen.”

And, on public-sector pay, he pointed out the freeze was over anyway – arguing the cash now being spent would be in jeopardy from a no-deal Brexit because “the economy will grow less quickly”.

Source: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt accused of duping the public with ‘extraordinary’ tax-and-spending pledges | The Independent

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Former Tory leader attacks Johnson’s Brexit plan. Is it because he hadn’t heard Hunt’s?

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt: Is time up for the Conservative Party?

It could be argued that an endorsement from a failed ex-Conservative leader and former schoolboy politician may do Jeremy Hunt more harm than good – but the fact is that neither he nor Boris Johnson have covered themselves in glory.

Business leaders have described both candidates’ willingness to offer a hard ‘no deal’ Brexit in order to leave the EU no later than October 31 as the “height of irresponsibility”, pointing out that manufacturing output has suffered its sharpest fall in six and a half years.

It is possible that William Hague was not aware of this when he penned his Torygraph article. He was attacking only Mr Johnson when he wrote, “the fundamental problem with willingly threatening a no-deal Brexit, or saying it will happen at the end of October, come what may, is that this new prime minister has no guaranteed majority in the House of Commons. Faced with that reality, the grotesque expedient of somehow ignoring a majority in parliament – which would mean at worst an election and, even at best, the complete inability to pass any legislation afterwards – has reared its head.” But that comment could be applied to both of them perfectly adequately.

He wrote: “Boris has demonstrated his strong convictions by saying “do or die” and refusing to rule out the proroguing of parliament. But in doing so, however much I wish him well if he is elected, he has lost my vote, because “do and then die” could very easily be the outcome.”

Hague said he supported Mr Hunt because “I watched him, through one winter after another, deal with the strains on the NHS with steady and unflappable competence. Good humoured and rational in all circumstances, he is definitely someone you want with you in a crisis” – without once noting that every crisis in the National Health Service was caused by disastrous Conservative policies.

He wrote of both candidates: “Behind them is the Brexit party in full cry, threatening electoral calamity if the promised exit hasn’t happened soon. But ahead of them is a no-deal Brexit, with its unknown consequences. It is as if a flock of sheep is running full tilt from the wolves while little realising it might be heading for a cliff.”

That seems accurate, but where he describes these as “immense twin dangers” faced by the Conservatives, he could also be describing both Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson.

As the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman described them, the two Tory candidates could be characterised as the “Thelma and Louise of Brexit”, determined to drive the entire country over a cliff to meet a deadline.

The Tories are in crisis indeed. The cliff-edge is looming, and it seems they are going over it, no matter who they back.

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Jeremy Hunt doesn’t care about your job because he thinks Brexit will win him more votes

If you thought the UK would be ruined by a Boris Johnson premiership, try to remember that Jeremy Hunt will be just as bad.

Here he is, promising to destroy 350 jobs in Kidderminster for the sake of a few Brexit-supporting votes – because getting Brexiteers to support the Tories is far more important than actually doing anything supportive of the UK, its people and economy. Right?

I find myself in agreement with a friend on Facebook, who wrote the following:

‘This is where we are. No “sunlit uplands”, no “no downside”, no “easiest deal in history”, just “I will burn your businesses to the ground because of a legally questionable vote which all available polling says is no longer the majority view.”‬ The Conservative Party has lost its mind.’

And if you think Kidderminster is the only part of the country that will be affected, don’t come back to me when the hammer falls on you!

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This rural Mid Wales constituency is now the focus of UK politics. Here are the reasons

“Where?” Boris Johnson may need a geography lesson to find out the location of the constituency that could make a monkey of him (or even Jeremy Hunt).

Isn’t it frightening that both remaining candidates in the Tory leadership contest have names that can be perverted into terms for genital organs?

We have Boris Johnson on one side – a ‘johnson’ being a slang term for male parts; and on the other side, Jeremy C… Hunt, whose surname has been mispronounced so many times that no further elaboration should be necessary.

Does this mean that, no matter who wins, the UK is f***ed?

It may not make much difference, if current developments in This Writer’s home constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire run their course. Not only is it now to be the location of a by-election that may break the Conservatives as a credible political organisation, but it is also the home of the woman who was brutalised by a Conservative MP at the recent Mansion House dinner.

Janet Barker, of Builth Wells in the constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire, was taking part in a peaceful protest against climate change when Mark Field grabbed her by the throat and marched her out, his face a picture of privileged Tory fury.

Mr Field has since apologised but he has already done the damage. Here’s Ms Barker saying he needs to take an anger management course:

What a proud advert for Conservatism Mr Field is! In this Guardian article, Ms Barker reveals that after he shoved her out of the Mansion House, Mr Field said: “This is what happens when people like you disturb our dinner!”

Make no mistake; when this man said “people like you” to Janet Barker, he meant people like you, dear reader.

He meant members of the general public who are harmed by Tory policies. He thinks your place is to suffer in silence while he and his kind eat slap-up meals, bought by causing that suffering. He is a fairly typical Conservative in that respect.

Two more fairly typical Conservatives are Chris Davies and Glyn Davies, the disgraced now-former Tory MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and the current Tory MP for neighbouring Montgomeryshire.

The latter seems to think the former has “suffered enough”, as the old saying about Tories caught in wrong-doing used to go, and that he should stand for re-election to the Brecon and Radnorshire seat.

He told the BBC: “There is a process. There is a parliamentary process – we’ve gone through that process… I would vote for Chris to be the candidate. We have processes.”

Gibberish!

Personally, I think Mr (Chris) Davies should stand again for Brecon and Radnorshire.

Consider the mathematics here. One-fifth of the total electorate voted to push him out. A further half of the voters are unlikely to even turn out, as this is a by-election (look at the recent Peterborough result). This means Mr Davies would have to try to get a proportion of the remaining 16,000 or so votes – from Tories who are likely to think he made them all look bad (he did) and ‘Leave’ supporters who will probably see the Brexit Party as a better option.

A Tory with an unblemished record would stand a better chance, I would have thought.

Perhaps there aren’t any left.

I wonder what Ms Barker thinks of these shenanigans?

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From this showing, ‘Our Next Prime Minister’ will be a worse embarrassment than the last one

“Alternate reality”: Rory Stewart despairs of the BBC’s televised debate between himself and the other Tory leadership candidates. Was it something they said?

What the hell was Emily Maitlis doing, agreeing with Michael Gove that Jeremy Corbyn indulges anti-Semitism when he so obviously does not?

She came out with her extraordinary outburst during the BBC televised Conservative leadership debate, in which Michael Gove responded appallingly to concerns over Islamophobia raised by a Bristolian imam. Here’s that gentleman, explaining himself on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AbdullahPatel94/status/1141088399241207815

https://twitter.com/AbdullahPatel94/status/1141088403984986113

Yes he did. Here it is – Michael Gove is so proud of his defamatory statement that he turned it into an infographic:

He went on to highlight the moment when Mr Corbyn accused two Zionist activists of failing to understand irony when they disrupted an event at which a Palestinian representative was speaking as an example of the Labour leader’s behaviour. The incident has long since been explained: Mr Corbyn was correctly referring specifically to the two individuals concerned but politically-motivated critics had, in bad faith, reinterpreted his words to claim that he was referring to all Jews. The claim is utterly ludicrous.

And Emily Maitlis – the host – supported Mr Gove! She cut off any further comment, saying: “I’m sure you all do agree.”

Quick reminder: The BBC is under investigation by Ofcom, under suspicion of violating its first duty – impartiality. It seems clear that Ms Maitlis was keen to ensure that Ofcom finds against her employer, all by herself.

Result: Public outrage:

“Her bias was showing,” tweeted ‘Biker Wolfie With Pilllion Daniel Blake.

“And people say BBC news isn’t biased,” added Nick Mapson.

“Really! That is outrageous!” exclaimed Linda Scott.

The only one who came out of that worse than Ms Maitlis was Mr Gove himself:

Mr Gove seems to have a Corbyn fixation. He also said: “Jeremy Corbyn isn’t interested in helping working people; he’s interested in standing up for the Iranian regime,” in a direct reference to the controversy over attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman (The US and the UK foreign office have blamed Iran without concrete evidence and Mr Corbyn has said proof is required).

https://twitter.com/SkyeCitySeries/status/1141085970328096768

If anything good came from that debate, it was Sajid Javid’s apparent securing of agreement from all the candidates that an independent investigation should be held into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

Another question was about what the candidates would do to lift the tax burden on the working classes – and Rory Stewart attracted undue flak, despite being the only person giving a realistic answer.

He said he wasn’t thinking about promises for the next 15 days, but about the next 15 years.

The questioner’s response defies belief:

What a swivel-eyed loon!

Jeremy Hunt shamed himself when he said the Conservatives had cut social care funding too much. The problem with that answer is obvious:

Mr Hunt also came out with a howler when he claimed that the UK was one of the most open and accepting countries for people of other ethnicities than the majority. That simply isn’t true any more, and the reason is divisive rhetoric from the Conservative government that has set racism soaring.

At least he got through the whole hour without hearing his name mispronounced once.

Who came out of it best? Rory Stewart, according to the public.

It’s probably because he responded to the comments of his fellow candidates in the same way as the rest of the viewing public:

Interviewed afterwards, he was questioned on why he took off his tie (and on why his performance was “lacklustre”, which seems to be another example of BBC bias). He replied that he had felt as though he had been drawn into an “alternate reality” and was trying to re-establish a sense of what was genuine:

He wasn’t alone:

Boris Johnson – the front-runner in terms of votes cast by his follow Conservative MPs – was absolutely nowhere. Asked if, as prime minister, he would do the decent thing and call a general election in order to gain a mandate from the public, he said no.

Ms Maitlis pounced: “‘It’s the arrogance’ – that’s what you said when Gordon Brown became prime minister. ‘That’s what gets me. Gordon Brown will now be in 10 Downing Street without a mandate from the British people. No-one elected Gordon Brown as prime minister. Let’s have an election without delay.’ Why does the same not apply this time?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Because he wasn’t taking over in the context of a national political crisis in which we have to get Brexit over the line.”

It doesn’t take a genius to come up with appropriate response to that howler:

https://twitter.com/mattforde/status/1141072808904187905

The final verdict:

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Stewart surge knocks Raab out of Tory leader race – and threatens even Johnson

Sucker punch: Dominic Raab has been knocked out of the Conservative leadership race after Rory Stewart enjoyed a surge that doubled his support among MPs.

Surprise results from the second round of the Conservative Party leadership election show a big leap in support for Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who scraped into the second round of the election in bottom place, has doubled his support, leapfrogging both Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid.

Mr Raab is out now; Mr Javid may be out next time.

Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove will be disappointed; their support base has hardly changed since the first round.

Neither has Boris Johnson’s. And he will have been hoping to dodge having to clash with Mr Stewart in the BBC’s televised debate this evening (June 18).

Mr Stewart will want to ask the race leader whether he has been making contradictory promises to different groups in order to secure their support and Mr Johnson’s response to this and other questions may dictate the result of the contest.

But who will get Dominic Raab’s votes?

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Hypocrites challenge Corbyn’s call for evidence in tanker controversy

Blaze: An oil tanker burns in the Gulf of Oman. But was Iran really responsible?

Isn’t it childish that, in this age of climate change and environmental catastrophe caused by fossil fuels, our leaders are squabbling over oil again?

The Conservative government has supported claims by the United States that attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – on one of the world’s most important tanker routes – were caused by Iran.

Apparently the removal of a mine from one of the tankers by Iranian special forces was portrayed as proof of that country’s guilt by the US government under Donald Trump. He said he guessed one of the mines used to attack the ships did not explode “and it had Iran written all over it”.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, under prime ministerial wannabe Jeremy Hunt, said an investigation by the United Arab Emirates had concluded that the attacks had been caused by a “sophisticated state actor”, and Mr Hunt said he was satisfied that the actor in question was Iran.

Let’s pause for a moment and compare this behaviour with the Tory government’s response to United Nations claims that its policies had caused an increase in poverty here – DWP secretary Amber Rudd, and Theresa May, said it was impossible for such a conclusion to be formed after such a short period collecting evidence; less than two weeks. The report on the tankers has appeared in less than two days, it seems.

So we have an arguable double-standard in the Tory government’s stance.

But that hasn’t stopped ministers from attacking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, simply for suggesting that a little conclusive evidence should be collected first:

Happily, the response from the public has been to challenge the Tories. Consider, for example, this reponse to Mr Hunt:

Let’s face it – a previous UK government tried to convince us that a war with Iraq was a good idea, based on evidence that was later disproved. That was in alliance with the United States, too.

It is the attack on Mr Corbyn that is most offensive, though:

https://twitter.com/AutisticOu/status/1139940423982616576

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1139805044210110464

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1139885137481650178

That is the fact of this matter.

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POLL: Does anybody care about all these Tory leadership hopefuls and their druggie pasts?

Andrea Leadsom: She’s the fourth Tory leadership candidate to admit having smoked “weed”.

Can somebody please tell me how having taken drugs in the past makes someone a better candidate to be the leader of the Conservative Party – let alone prime minister?

Jeremy Hunt was the first; he admitted taking a cannabis lassi (it’s a kind of drink made in India).

Then Rory Stewart said he took opium at a wedding in Iran, prompting speculation in some quarters that he was pre-empting a revelation – possibly by a rival.

And then the floodgates opened.

Boris Johnson took cocaine and cannabis at college. Can anybody say they’re surprised?

Dominic Raab has had cannabis, and so has Andrea Leadsom.

And Michael Gove took cocaine. In his confession, he went on at length about the drug’s harmful effects (“drugs damage lives”) and about his feelings on the subject now (“it is something I deeply regret”). This caused more rancour than the straight confessions of the others.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said it was “rank hypocrisy” to admit to “mistakes” while “backing policies that perpetuate harm”.

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, said: “Michael has delivered a politically-crafted and deeply unconvincing hand-wringing statement of regret for committing a victimless crime. He should have used the opportunity to join a vital and urgent policy debate.”

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron pointed out that all six “continue to back policies that send less fortunate folk to prison for the same thing. It’s disgusting”.

And current Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ed Davey observed: “They might all be historical confessions but the way this Tory leadership is going it’s like they’re all off their heads.”

That certainly appears to be the conclusion of the satirists, who have been having great fun concocting fictional pasts for other MPs. I particularly enjoyed the idea of Jacob Rees-Mogg having used camphorated tincture of laudanum with his nanny in 1899.

And apparently Larry the Downing Street Cat has admitted a continuing fondness for catnip. Well, why not?

In the interests of full disclosure, This Writer is happy to admit a long history of substance abuse including cocktails of diesel, metal polish and (when I can get it) Uranium-239. We journalists run on heavy fuel!

But there is a serious question here.

The issue of illegal drugs has been a major political football for decades. Remember the “war on drugs”? The lives of millions of people have been affected – many ruined – by organised drug-pushers; Michael Gove wasn’t wrong about that. And many people have been punished – sometimes jailed – simply for possession of certain substances.

And the hypocrisy of the mass media should also be taken into account. Remember the thunderous furore after Diane Abbott drank a mojito on a train? In comparison, we get hardly a whimper after people who may become prime minister confessed to serious historical crimes.

Against this background, it is right to question the attitude of these confessors. Let’s have a poll:

Source: Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom becomes 6th candidate to admit drugs past – Mirror Online

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Legal aid decision for Shamima Begum allows the Tories to give free rein to their hypocrisy

Hypocrite: Jeremy Hunt.

I can’t say I’m happy that the UK is likely to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on legal aid for Shamima Begum’s bid to regain her citizenship.

As you know if you read my previous work on this subject, I subscribe to the belief that Ms Begum knew exactly what she was doing when she left the UK to join a terrorist organisation (Islamic State) that wants to end the way of life enjoyed by citizens of this country, and I think her plea to be returned to the UK – at our expense – was motivated only by the fact that IS appeared about to be wiped off the map.

It’s the prevailing belief across the UK but proved controversial in some parts of the Internet, where critics suggested my view was racist and ignored the grooming (wrong word – they meant radicalisation) of innocent people into supporting terrorism.

It seems to me that there’s only one way to find out who’s right – and that is to have all the relevant information aired in a court of law.

So I reluctantly support the provision of legal aid in this single case.

But I object to the Tory hypocrisy about it.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (April 15), foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt justified the decision to grant legal aid by saying: “We are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them and, for obvious reasons, those decisions are made independent from politicians.”

That’s two falsehoods in one sentence.

The Conservatives certainly do not believe people with limited means should have access to state resources to challenge state decisions.

And they don’t want those decisions to be made independently.

The Conservative Party has cut legal aid to members of the public by 20 per cent – severely restricting access to justice.

The Tories’ Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act of 2012 cut the legal aid budget by £350 million and ended the right to legal representation in large areas of the law on divorce, child custody, clinical negligence, welfare, employment, immigration, housing, debt, benefit and education.

Amnesty International said the cuts had created a “two-tier” system that denied the poorest people access to justice.

Particularly hard-hit have been people with disabilities; the total number of disabled people granted legal aid in welfare cases has plummeted from 29,801 in 2011-12 to just 308 in 2016-17.

And this is exactly as the Tories wanted it.

Back in 2013, I wrote:

“This vindictive government of millionaires intends to make it impossible for the poorest and most vulnerable in society to seek legal redress against cruel and unwarranted decisions that will withdraw from them the money they use to keep themselves a hairs-breadth away from destitution.

“It is a decision to attack the poor for the fun of it.”

So when Jeremy Hunt tells the BBC, in all his hypocrisy, that “we are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them”, then we – the country – know he is excluding his government from that statement.


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