Tag Archives: Justice

U-turn and u-turn again as Boris Johnson first agrees, then refuses to meet bereaved Covid campaigners

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions. Now he is resorting to flat-out lies.

How galling for the 14 million who voted for him to realise that Boris Johnson is such a craven coward.

He can’t even bear to meet people who have lost family members due to his mistakes – so he has made up a succession of reasons not to.

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK may not have a snappy name but they do have a good reason for existence – they want an inquiry into the Johnson government’s decisions on the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

The organisation wisely distrusts Johnson’s claim that he will hold an inquiry “at the appropriate time” and has already issued a “letter before action”, warning that the group is considering litigation to secure an inquiry.

But a letter before action is not itself litigation.

So when Boris Johnson said, “It turns out that this particular group are currently in litigation with the government. I will certainly meet them once that litigation is concluded,” he was lying.

He had previously promised to meet them.

Perhaps he was hoping that most people would not know enough about court action to tell that he was telling a falsehood in order to run away from the potentially disastrous publicity a meeting would create.

It’s also possible that he was hoping his u-turn would not come to public attention.

This Writer is already on the record as saying it is unlikely an inquiry will take place. Politicians like Johnson say there will be one “at the appropriate time” when a crisis is ongoing and people are demanding it but, the instant the trouble is over, they insist that it would be better to put the matter behind us.

Let’s face it: Johnson is notoriously bad – embarrassing, in fact – when he doesn’t have a script to read out. He may be afraid he’ll say something that may be used against him later.

So he’s running away from a meeting he promised to attend.

And that, dear reader, is the act of a coward.

Source: Coronavirus: Campaigners reject PM’s ‘poor excuse’ for not meeting them – BBC News

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People with disabilities: do YOU want IAIN DUNCAN SMITH influencing how government treats you?

Iain Duncan Smith: apparently he isn’t demonstrating what he’d like to do to the throats of disabled people, although that isn’t clear from his record.

Iain Duncan Smith – his very name still triggers hate and fear in people with long-term illnesses and disabilities, in roughly equal measure.

It is now nearly five years since This Writer demonstrated that his Department for Work and Pensions had been responsible for more than 100,000 excess deaths of people claiming sickness and disability benefits.

The deaths had happened after he became Secretary of State and changed the way benefit entitlements were assessed, making it much more difficult for people who deserved them to make a claim.

And he perverted the appeal system into a labyrinthine, Kafka-esque nightmare designed to drive people to despair or starvation before ever seeing a penny.

Now, the right-wing think tank that this vile creature founded – and still chairs – is trying to interfere in the lives of vulnerable people once again.

The shockingly-misnamed Centre for Social Justice has launched what it calls a “Disability Commission” which it hopes will influence the Johnson government’s strategy for dealing with disabled people.

According to Disability News Service:

The commission appears set to focus on the role of business, employment and the free market, with CSJ calling on the government to use the disability strategy to “prove that only a market economy delivers sustainable social justice in a way that enables everyone to realise their potential”.

So it seems the plan is to throw people with disabilities into a free-market nightmare in which any skills they have will be ruthlessly exploited to make cash for the already extremely wealthy, while paying them as little as possible.

(Remember when Lord Freud suggested paying them as little as £2 per hour because they were “not worth the minimum wage”? That is what Tories think of the talents of people with disabilities.)

There appear to be a few names on this “commission” who have spoken out against Tory “reforms” in the past, but these seem to be token placements, intended to lend credibility to the project.

This can only be bad news for people on Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit and/or Employment and Support Allowance.

Source: Thinktank responsible for universal credit launches ‘Disability Commission’ – Disability News Service

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Is Rachel Riley’s obsession with ‘left anti-Semitism’ enabling the far right?

Countdown: Let’s show so-called celebrities like Rachel Riley that time is running out for their crackpot crusade.

After the action, the outcry: Last week, Rachel Riley succeeded in getting Katie Hopkins bumped from Twitter, as reported here.

The move has prompted outrage from certain sections of online society, as evidenced by these examples:

(This was by a Brexit supporter.)

(This was by someone who self-describes as: “American. Patriot. Brexit. Back Boris”.)

(This was from Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula, the far-right activist who Ms Riley supported after he was accused of anti-Semitism).

Now, to me, they seem a pretty right-wing crowd. But Tracy-Ann Oberman, a friend of Ms Riley who also threatened me with court action for libel, seems to think otherwise:

“Watching the Far Left have a twitter meltdown over KatieHopkins twitter ban at the hands of EVIL Rachel Riley and those of us who have helped Twitter assess these matters , is quite a thing. The irrationality and double think plus the outright LIES”.

Huh?

Katie Hopkins is out there on the far right, so it is logical that others on the far right are screaming the loudest. Why is Ms Oberman suggesting otherwise?

Is it a reflex action – blame the left because she is so used to doing it that it is now automatic?

Is she deluded – a new conspiracy-theorist desperate to blame the political theft for whatever plots she can dream up?

That would be bad enough – at least for her mental health.

But what if she isn’t deluded and is consciously and deliberately deceiving people by opportunistically blaming the left for instances of anti-Semitism and abuse that are nothing to do with anyone on that side of politics?

That would mean she – and Ms Riley, by extension – are enabling the far right.

Now consider the fact that the organisation that (as I understand it) radicalised Rachel Riley – the Campaign Against Antisemitism – has been reported to the Charity Commission for failing to be independent of party politics, which is required under law if it is to have charity status.

The Green Party made the complaint over the organisation’s anti-Labour campaigns and a video by its head of political investigations, celebrating Labour’s defeat in the 2019 general election by saying “the beast is slain” and using the word “slaughtered”.

The Greens are calling it negative campaigning that incites hatred.

If that is what the CAA has been doing, then is it a big stretch to believe that Ms Oberman is part of such an agenda? Or Ms Riley?

I think these so-called celebrities have serious questions to answer.

If you agree, please support my defence against Ms Riley’s libel action against me. If it gets to trial, we will be able to examine her behaviour and put those questions to her directly.

Here’s how you can help:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

People like Ms Oberman and Ms Riley seem to think that their wealth makes them impervious to criticism; that they can say and do whatever they want.

We have a chance to show them they are wrong. Let’s take it.

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.

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This Job Centre graffiti shows how much we loathe the Tories’ flagship ‘benefit’

While we should not condone vandalism, I would suggest that the perpetrators of the graffiti outside Bootle Job Centre should be congratulated.

They have reminded us, amidst the fuss over lying Boris Johnson and his attempts to bypass democracy in the name of a “no deal” Brexit that won’t help anyone, that the Tories are also responsible for creating serious social problems – and that they have not gone away.

And their message of defiance is a vital reminder that, no matter how much they try to subdue us, oppressors like Mr Johnson will never beat down the British spirit – our thirst for justice and “fair play”.

Boris Johnson doesn’t play fair.

And it seems his new Work and Pensions Secretary has similar values.

But if they think they can browbeat the rest of us with Universal Credit’s financial blackmail, this example suggests they should think again.

‘We will not submit’.

‘Scrap UC.’

These words have been emblazoned in graffiti across a Merseyside job centre in what is a powerful message to the new Secretary of State for Work and pensions.

Tory MP Therese Coffey was installed as the new cabinet member for the DWP this week after the dramatic resignation of Amber Rudd.

But as this desperate message sprayed over Bootle Job Centre shows, people in her native region won’t care about her footballing allegiances, but will want to know what she intends to do about the government’s controversial Universal Credit benefit system that has already spread so much misery around Merseyside.

Since the roll out of the new benefit system began – which aims to combine six existing payments into one – it has been riddled with problems of delays and computer system errors – and has frequently been accused of pushing already struggling people further into poverty.

Source: ‘We will not submit’ – Merseyside’s powerful message to new DWP boss over Universal Credit – Liverpool Echo

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Planned pension-age rise means most will die before ever seeing it

Iain Duncan Smith is a genuinely evil little man, isn’t he?

He spent years orchestrating the deniable deaths of uncounted (literally – the Department for Work and Pensions deliberately did not check on what happened to these people) sick and disabled people by changing the benefit assessment system to make it easier to cancel their payments.

Now the Centre for Social Justice think tank, of which he is chairman, is recommending that the age at which we may qualify for the state pension should be raised to 75 by the year 2035.

(Its previous big success – ha ha – was Universal Credit, which it dreamed up on the back of a fag packet in 2009 and which David Cameron adopted as Coalition government policy a year later.)

Apparently all the state-shrinking cuts inflicted by the Tories, along with the tax cuts they have given themselves and their super-rich friends, mean that the Treasury can no longer afford the ballooning cost of supporting an ever-increasing elderly population while the birth rate continues to decline.

Importing workers from other countries would have helped, but Brexit and the xenophobia the Tories have nurtured alongside it have put an end to that.

The aim, of course, is to avoid paying the state pension at all – to make ordinary people work until they die.

This is one of the reasons the Tories have been working to ensure that life expectancy – the age at which we may expect to die – falls.

They have succeeded in this aim, as David Hencke noted in an article last year:

“Britain is literally dying. Ever since the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition came to power a 50 year improvement in the death rate year on year went into reverse.”

He wrote that the lowest life expectancy in April 2018 was in Glasgow, Blackpool, Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire, where men could expect to live until the age of 75.4 at the most.

Under Iain Duncan Smith’s plan, that means most men living in these places would never draw the state pension, despite having paid into it for the whole of their working lives.

As comedian George Carlin told Americans, the same now applies in the UK: “They’re coming for your social security money, they’re coming for your retirement money. They want it back.”

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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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Gagging clauses: Chris Grayling silenced justice charities to stop them revealing what a fool he is

Grayling: What does a fool do to prevent his stupidity becoming public knowledge? He gags everybody in the know.

The Times‘ investigation into the Tory government’s use of non-disclosure agreements (gagging clauses) to prevent outside organisations from saying anything that would damage their reputation continues.

Today the focus is on current Transport Secretary Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling and the disastrous changes to the probation service that he demanded when he was in charge of Justice.

We all know that his ideas were stupid, short-sighted and dangerous because we have seen their result – but it seems we could have found this out much earlier, if he had not silenced every organisation that could have told us at the time.

Here‘s the report:

Chris Grayling’s changes to the probation service were deemed to be a failure, but charities dealing with the fallout were prevented from saying anything that would damage his reputation

After Chris Grayling oversaw a £3 billion overhaul of the probation system in 2015, his reforms were condemned as a failure.

Prison inspectors found that changes introduced when he was justice secretary resulted in criminals being released without anywhere to live and without staff assessing “significant risks” to their partners and children.

Dame Glenys Stacey, chief inspector of probation, said the overhaul meant there was “no real prospect” of preventing prisoners from returning to crime.

The findings prompted criticism from campaigners, politicians and probation staff. Some of the key charities working with former prisoners, however, have appeared to be unconcerned.

The rest is hidden by the paywall but you get the idea.

Labour’s Richard Burgon commented on Twitter…

That’s putting it mildly!

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Why is the BBC trying to prejudice the inquiry into Arron Banks and Leave.EU?

Arron Banks.

Has the BBC taken its claim to impartially serve up both sides of news stories a few steps too far?

That’s how it seems in the case of Arron Banks, who is apparently being investigated by the National Crime Agency after the Electoral Commission found that his campaign group in the EU referendum – Leave.EU – had broken electoral law.

After it was announced that the NCA is investigating, the BBC decided to invite him onto The Andrew Marr Show to discuss the matter. The show was to be broadcast live at 9am today (Sunday, November 4). Here’s the Corporation’s statement about it:

“There is strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in relation to Leave.EU and the 2016 EU Referendum. The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them, which he will do on Sunday morning.”

No it isn’t. In fact, it may pervert the course of justice.

We already know Leave.EU is guilty of breaking electoral law – that’s what the Electoral Commission found. Now it has passed the matter on to the NCA, which will investigate the possibility that serious criminal offences were committed.

Nobody from the NCA or the Electoral Commission has been invited to put forward what they know, so this is basically giving Mr Banks an opportunity to influence the nation’s thinking on the matter. This could be disastrous for justice if a jury is ever asked to decide on his innocence or guilt.

People have picked up on these facts. For instance:

It’s a perfectly legitimate question, if the BBC is interested in balance. Carole Cadwalladr is the investigative journalist who uncovered much (if not all) the evidence against Leave.EU.

More to the point is this:

This is the substantive point – presenting evidence that might go before a criminal court may prejudice the case.

Trouble is, I think we need to watch, just to check whether what’s broadcast is reasonable. This member of the public thinks it won’t be:

Again, good points. The BBC is acting hypocritically as it is affording Mr Banks a courtesy never offered to other people in the public eye, whose behaviour has been the focus of legal interest in the past. And it is the job of all reporters to ensure that they do not prejudice the outcome of criminal inquiries and court cases when reporting them.

Will the following be mentioned?

Probably – but not in anything like the exhausting detail with which Mr Banks is likely to put his side of the story.

So it should be no surprise that the BBC has received a huge number of complaints and people have been calling on other members of the public to make their views known:

And what do you think was the BBC’s measured response?

It closed down the complaints page on its website.

This is not the action of a responsible organisation.

It gets worse than that, though – information has been leaked to suggest Theresa May quashed an investigation into Mr Banks’s dealings, years ago, quoting “political sensitivity” (which is the reason the Met Police has given for failing to do anything about the matter over the last several months).

Here‘s The Guardian:

“A Labour MP has asked Theresa May whether she or any other minister had ever declined a request from the security services to conduct an investigation into the controversial Leave.EU campaign donor Arron Banks.

“Ben Bradshaw wrote to the prime minister a day after it was announced that a criminal investigation into Banks had begun, amid repeated allegations that May had blocked an investigation in 2016, when she was home secretary.

“Downing Street would not comment on Bradshaw’s suggestion that an investigation was blocked, although it is understood the claim is denied. A No 10 spokesman said: “We would never confirm or deny the detail of any conversation with security services on any topic.”

“The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that May declined a request by one of the security services to investigate Banks in 2016, repeating a claim made by Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, at his party conference in September.

“At the time Watson asked: “Did [May] ask the security services to investigate? Or did she stop them doing so? There is a suggestion that in the run-up to the referendum the prime minister – in her capacity at the time as home secretary – declined at least one application from the security services to mount a full investigation into Mr Banks and others suspected of Russian influence. We need to know if that is true.””

Again, the social media have been having a field day:

And there is a critically serious issue at the heart of this: Alleged interference in UK politics by a foreign power – Russia – with the aid of individuals like Mr Banks and, it seems, Mrs May.

The fact that lawbreaking has happened, the spectre of foreign interference, and the possibility of corruption at the highest level of government – all focused on the UK’s departure from the European Union – mean that the legitimacy of Brexit has been called into question.

Ardent ‘Leave’ voters will be infuriated at Professor Brian Cox’s suggestion…

… but in legal terms – in a nation run by people who accept the rule of law – it is the correct course of action.

We need to know the facts before Brexit happens – not when the damage has been done.

That is why it is important for the facts to be examined thoroughly – including and especially the facts about Arron Banks and Leave.EU.

And that is why the BBC should respect the rules – or does Auntie think that she’s above them?

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Is this how we beat the Labour witch-hunt?

Chris Williamson brandishes his Morning Star.

Two interesting developments in the Labour anti-Semitism witch-hunt story have crossed my desk today.

The first is an appeal from Jews For Justice For Palestinians, which is almost certainly a group of what the pro-Israeli-government, pro-Zionist lobby might call “the wrong kind of Jews”. It runs as follows:

Protect Labour’s reputation. Protect its ability to speak up for Palestinians

The misnamed Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has stated that its goal is the eviction of Jeremy Corbyn from public life.

To this end, the CAA has referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) alleging ‘institutional antisemitism’.

The Chief Executive of the EHRC already stated in 2017 that Labour ‘must do more to establish that it is not a racist party’. She did so on the basis of hearsay that had not been investigated and in fact was false.

Notwithstanding its reckless and cavalier record on this issue, the EHRC’s judgement is likely to carry weight in public discussion.

The CAA is now soliciting testimonies from Labour Party members in support of its complaint.

The time Is now for the silent majority of labour Jews to stand up and be counted! 

Resist the cynical attack on the Labour Party! 

Resist the trivialisation and instrumentalisation of antisemitism!

Defend the Labor Party’s ability to support Palestinian rights 

If you believe Labour is being misrepresented and traduced, now is the time to speak up.

We need your testimonies about your experiences in the Labour Party to submit to the EHRC.

Send them ASAP to: [email protected] by Friday 31 August 2018.

Now the Morning Star has published comments by Labour backbencher Chris Williamson, calling for the backstabbers in the party – those who have attempted to undermine Mr Corbyn’s leadership by supporting the witch-hunt, despite its absurd lack of evidence – to get back in line or be removed.

The article states:

“Any MP not prepared to work for a Labour victory should resign and, if they won’t, grassroots members should replace them,” Mr Williamson argued.

“That’s why I hope conference will back Labour International’s motion to introduce open selections to make it easier for members to hold their MPs to account.”

The motion backed by Mr Williamson is one of four proposals to reform the way MPs are selected that could be discussed by delegates at conference.

It calls for a list of candidates to be presented to all members of a constituency party by a shortlisting committee before each election and guarantees the sitting MP’s right to be on the shortlist.

If passed, it would end the current model where sitting MPs are automatically reselected unless they cannot muster the support of half of all party and affiliated branches in a trigger ballot.

The system is open to abuse as branches and affiliates all count the same regardless of size and members can only choose between being happy or unhappy with the sitting MP, while alternative candidates don’t get a look-in.

The Derby North MP said the left should mobilise behind the Labour International motion, pointing out that “there are several motions and we could end up losing the lot if we don’t get behind one.

“In my opinion the Labour International one is by far the best.”

This Writer will certainly try to send information to the EHRC before the deadline.

However, as my Labour Party membership is currently suspended due to false claims of anti-Semitism by – among others – the Campaign Against Antisemitism, I must rely on my colleagues in the party to support Mr Williamson’s call to action.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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Women being denied their pensions can use the local elections to seek justice

Here’s an excellent point by David Hencke:

The 3.9 million 50s pensioners have a great opportunity to get their views across at the local elections to be held on Thursday May 3.  Elections will be held in all 32 London boroughs, 34 metropolitan boroughs, 68 district/borough councils and 17 unitary authorities.  There are also elections for mayors in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and just outside London in Watford.

Local elections are of course about local matters. However the performance of political parties at local elections is always judged by the media as a snapshot of national voting intentions. Also the attitude of local councillors towards the plight of women denied their pensions for up to six years could well be symptomatic of their attitude towards other injustice issues.

[If your councillors are up for election] go on to the council’s site and chase up your ward councillors.

Challenge them to  put pressure on their MP to get government policy changed so you will get your money. If they refuse, vote for the nearest challenger who will.

Source: 50s pensioners: Time for you to put the boot into your local councillor at May’s elections | David Hencke


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