Tag Archives: Kwasi Kwarteng

‘Fracking is over’ says Kwarteng. But do the Tories mean it?

Kwasi Kwarteng: “Fracking is over.”

This is great news that may have passed you by:

Yesterday Kwasi Kwarteng, the energy minister, when asked about fracking in the UK announced that the government had “moved on”.

He stated: “We had a moratorium on fracking last year and frankly the debate’s moved on. It is not something that we’re looking to do.

“We’ve always said we’d be evidence-backed so if there was a time when the science evidence changed our minds we would be open to that. But for now, fracking is over.”

This is of course great news for those who consider science and public opinion to be important but as we know this government’s record on telling the truth is up there with a deceased horse winning the Derby.

This Writer agrees with Dorset Eye that it’s great news.

I also agree that the Tories’ reputation for economy with the truth is legendary.

But we have an undertaking from the Energy Minister that fracking is off the agenda.

All we have to do now is hold him – and them – to that.

Source: Have the government really announced the end of fracking in the UK? – Dorset Eye

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As ministers distance themselves from Johnson, he’s not even denying he’s as racist as Sabisky

All Nazis together: unrepentant Boris Johnson probably doesn’t even wish he hadn’t pulled this pose.

Senior Tories have been working hard to repair the damage Andrew Sabisky has done to their credibility – but it’s hard when their own prime minister is refusing to deny that he holds the same racist opinions.

Grant Shapps was the first to claim that Sabisky did not speak for the Conservative government.

He said over the weekend that Sabisky’s reported opinions were views that “neither I or the government share in any shape or form”.

But when a Downing Street spokesperson was asked whether Mr Shapps was speaking on behalf of the government, he replied that Johnson’s views were “well-documented”, adding: “The transport secretary was speaking as the transport secretary. I have answered the question on behalf of the prime minister.”

Of course it is impossible to deny that Johnson has those views; he has expressed them time and again.

For example, on the subject of black people’s IQs, shall we consider Johnson’s novel Seventy-two Virgins? Consider:

https://twitter.com/TheLabourLeftie/status/1229684979279552512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

And of course Johnson was forced to apologise in 2008, after he wrote an article in The Spectator saying that black people have lower IQs.

Meanwhile Mr Shapps has been joined in condemning this viewpoint by Kwasi Kwarteng, according to The Independent:

“Kwasi Kwarteng broke with Boris Johnson – who has thus far refused to condemn the departing aide – by branding his [Sabisky’s] past comments “racist”, “offensive” and “reprehensible”.

“Calling for an overhaul of recruitment, Kwarteng said: “I think we should prevent racists from coming into No10 or wherever he was working. I think we do need to look at these processes.”

“On Sabisky’s past writings, Kwarteng said: “It was completely reprehensible – they were racist remarks.””

Mind you, Kwarteng never had a word to say in opposition for the whole of the week that Sabisky was in position. Funny, that.

And Caroline Nokes, who was already on the record about this, attacked the prime minister’s office for being silent over Sabisky’s “abhorrent views”.

Again according to The Independent: “Unfortunately we had 48 hours of almost complete silence and no comment from Downing Street, who could have distanced themselves from his youthful comments at any point, but they chose not to do so.”

Nokes also said: “I think you want to have exciting ideas and energy around policy-making in Downing Street, what you don’t want is racism, sexism and the sort of abhorrent ideas that were present in this young man’s tweets.”

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is in Downing Street – and will continue to be, for as long as Boris Johnson remains in office as prime minister.

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Don’t believe the Tories. THEIR spending plans are ‘reckless’ and ‘unaffordable’ – because of their Brexit

Sajid Javid: Would you trust him with your money? Really?

The Tories are spinning so hard on their spending plans, it must be making them dizzy.

The reason?

They are lying to you again. Labour’s proposals are sustainable but theirs are not.

That’s the verdict from Oxford University economist Simon Wren-Lewis, quoting the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Resolution Foundation (amongst others) in support.

Both parties are proposing extra spending, and the Tories are trying to scare you with the scale of Labour’s plan:

But they have miscalculated, basing their figures on false assumptions.

Let’s do the facts first:

The Tories’ spending increases are unsustainable because they are saying they will not increase tax.

Labour’s increases – large though they may be – are more sustainable than those of the Tories because Labour has said it will increase taxes – we know from the 2017 manifesto that Corporation Tax will go up, and taxes on high earners. This means Labour will stay within the rules it has set for itself; the Tories will not.

More damningly, though, the Tories cannot sustain their spending plans within the Brexit framework that they have negotiated.

The hard Tory Brexit that takes us out of the Single Market and the Customs Union means greater damage to the economy, along with lower earnings and therefore a lower tax take.

Labour will either negotiate a softer Brexit or cancel it altogether – depending on what the people decide. That means less economic damage, higher incomes, higher taxation… and therefore higher spending.

That is the conclusion of Professor Wren-Lewis, using evidence from those other organisations in support.

He also suggests that the economy – and public spending – is one area in which the Tories will most definitely not want to say this is a “Brexit” election.

They won’t want to mention Brexit at all. Because “once you factor in Brexit, the Tories extra spending is unlikely to be sustainable. They willl be forced to raise taxes or cut spending to keep to their current balance target. It will be even worse if Johnson throws in some last minute tax cuts in a desparate attempt to ensure he gets a majority. The OBR might have shown all this in its budget forecast, but the budget was conveniently postponed.”

(Isn’t it interesting how anything that might reflect badly on the Tories gets postponed? The budget, the report on Russian interference in UK democracy, the inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, the investigation into whether Boris Johnson gave undue support to Jennifer Arcuri – all are on hold, so the Tories don’t look completely corrupt and incompetent, it seems to This Writer.)

And this is what we have seen on the Sunday politics TV shows.

Sajid Javid appeared on the Marr show, spouting a load of unsupported nonsense – and when Andrew Marr called him out on it, he threw his toys out of his pram:

“These are eye-watering levels of spending,” says the Chancellor representing the party that has saddled the UK with a much larger amount of debt.

Then he whines, “It will leave this country with an economic crises within months. Not years – within months.” What a big baby. Professor Wren-Lewis’s figures show it is his spending that will cause any crisis.

And I hope the fact check websites are already investigating this “costofcorbyn.com” website. It’s clearly a Tory site and it seems clear that it is fake news.

Meanwhile, Kwasi Kwarteng appeared on Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday where he admitted that his own party couldn’t provide any numbers to justify its own spending plans.

“I’m not going to bandy around figures,” said clueless Mr Kwarteng. But that was exactly what he was doing. He doesn’t have Labour’s figures because his party’s claims are based on unfounded assumptions – and he didn’t have his own party’s figures because… well, why didn’t he have them?

Because they show that the Tories are the party of financial irresponsibility? And they are afraid to admit it?

Let’s face it – that’s the only conclusion to draw.

One last thought:

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Kwarteng dismisses concerns about Tory benefits policies – and Marr lets him off the hook (Part Two of Three)

Soundbite: Kwasi Kwarteng.

The second act of the three-part farce acted out on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (November 18) started when a panel including Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng was asked to discuss the possible eviction of vCJD sufferer Emily Lydon (read her story here).

As the story was breaking only days after the UN special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, had warned that the hardship suffered by the most vulnerable people in the UK had been deliberately inflicted on them by the Tories, to achieve “radical social re-engineering”, Mr Kwarteng would have been well-advised to take a diplomatic approach.

He did not.

Here’s what he said:

Notice he said he did not know “who this UN man is” – confirmation that the Tories are determined to ignore Professor Alston’s findings.

People in the real world condemned Mr Kwarteng’s words and pilloried their speaker.

For example, Loula Abdulla tweeted: “There’s obviously something very wrong with this man. I think he’s a sociopath, there’s no other possible explanation for such an ignorant brushing aside of that example of Tory injustice.”

And this is from Barbara Keeley: “Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng response on this case is disgraceful. No compassion or empathy. Says it all about the Tories.”

Critically, the show’s anchor, Andrew Marr, was soft on Mr Kwarteng to the point of liquidity. His only contribution was to ask if Mr Kwarteng thought the UN report was “appropriate” – to which he received the obvious answer from a Tory.

Here‘s Andy Searson on that: “Look how easily Marr allows the Tory off the hook when faced with the reality of their policies on ordinary people.”

And former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams hit the nail squarely on the head.

So, despite the revelation of an atrocity that is being committed by the Tory government against UK citizens who are powerless to prevent it, one of our most prominent press representatives failed to hold a member of that government to account. He was to prove hypocritically less compliant when interviewing a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, unfortunately…

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The REAL reason Cameron won’t sack Mitchell

“If you get 100 points for shooting one policewoman and 200 points for shooting two policewomen, how many do you get for shooting a lawyer?”

With these words, Derbyshire Conservative councillor David Stephenson signed his political career’s death warrant.

It was clear that he was referring to the deaths of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Tameside, and for Stephenson it was a sick joke too far.

But he would have got away with it if it had not been heard by the wife of serving police sergeant Jason Farrar, who telephoned the councillor to complain and was told to “go away, you silly man”.

In response, the officer contacted Derbyshire police federation, MP Jessica Lee and Erewash Borough Council leader Chris Corbett, who immediately removed Stephenson from the council executive and from the list of approved Conservative candidates, so he will not be allowed to stand for re-election as a Conservative.

That’s a bit different from what happened with Andrew Mitchell, isn’t it?

But just take a look at the Conservative Party’s record, and you’ll see that Stephenson is the exception that proves the rule.

We all know about Mitchell’s comments now – in fact, thanks to some of our renowned national newspapers, we can all read the police officer’s report. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he told the constable to “learn your place” and called him a “pleb”.

But he was only continuing a tradition of insulting the common citizenry of this nation that has been alive and well throughout this Parliament.

Only last month we heard about the new book Britannia Unchained, by right-wingers Priti Patel, Elizabeth Truss, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, and Kwasi Kwarteng, all members of the Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs. In it, they argue that British workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”, that the UK “rewards laziness” and “too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work”. Britannia Unchained? It seems more likely that they want to chain us to our work-stations!

And what about Philip Davies, the Tory MP who said the disabled should be “allowed” to work for half the minimum wage?

Compassionate Conservatism!

Too many voters were misled by that lie in the run-up to the 2010 election, but then, it’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled (according to Mark Twain). It’s time for us all to admit that there’s no such thing as compassionate Conservatism.

We all need to accept that Mr Mitchell’s remarks to the Downing Street policeman are representative of the way the majority of Conservatives see the British population.

David Cameron cannot sack Andrew Mitchell because, if he does, he’ll have to sack half his party membership.