Tag Archives: laugh

Why does Boris Johnson think Brexit is funny?

Sniggering like a schoolboy: Boris Johnson.

What did Boris Johnson think he would achieve by sniggering about his failure to produce a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union in a televised press conference?

A wave of ill-feeling against him as the nation collectively realised we have been hoodwinked into believing a liar?

A wave of doubt as the nation collectively realised we don’t know why he was having a giggle with his transport secretary, Grant Shapps – but that it certainly won’t signify anything good for the UK as a whole?

Confirmation that he’s pig-headed and selfish?

All of the above?

That’s what Twitter seems to think:

The Mirror‘s Pippa Crerar put her finger on the nub of the matter when she pointed out that Johnson consistently overpromises and the fails to deliver on his claims.

And this was his answer:

No wonder so many people have lost any faith that the UK’s failed Tory prime minister – and its failed Tory government – will achieve anything good for the people of the UK. All they can do is giggle and tell us something will turn up in the future.

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Vladimir Putin is keen for us to get on with Brexit. Let’s laugh at him

Putin: He’s a big noise on the international stage but still hasn’t worked up the courage to go “full Godiva”.

Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks he’s a proper cheeky monkey, doesn’t he?

We all know there is evidence that suggests his government interfered with the European Union referendum in 2016, thanks to the efforts of campaigns like Arron Banks’s Leave.EU.

Part of that evidence includes a claim by current UK Chancellor Philip Hammond that Russia was the only country that would benefit from the UK leaving the EU – and now Mr Putin is demanding that the UK get on with it.

Trouble is, there are many people in the UK who say the decision to leave is based on false information and tainted by the (alleged) interference of Mr Putin and Russia.

So we need to be a little circumspect about the matter – and the last thing we want is to rush into anything just because the leader of some other country is antagonising us.

He’s probably worried about the increasing likelihood of a so-called “People’s Vote” mandating the government to keep us in the EU after all.

And in fact, his nagging tends to support the case against people lie Mr Banks, and undermines the validity of the decision of that 2016 plebiscite.

Furthermore, after he was accused of responsibility for the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings by Theresa May, British people are rightly wondering why he thinks Mrs May would want to do anything, just because he demanded it. The fact that she is desperately trying to get us out of the EU before the end of March is therefore a mystery to us – unless we conclude that she really does have friends who are tax evaders and is trying to protect them from a Euro law that comes into force in April.

So I tend to support the decision of those on the social media who have chosen to make a mockery of the Russian leader instead.

If you’ve seen a comment that you think should be included, feel free to send it in as a comment.

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Considering her choice of representatives, is Theresa May having a laugh at young people’s expense?

Theresa May is laughing at us all.

I think this tweet makes a lot of sense.

What do you reckon?


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Theresa May has been laughing at the poor again

Theresa May thinks pushing us into poverty is a big joke.

Remember when Theresa May dismissed the possibility of raising the salaries of public sector workers, saying she didn’t have money to spend on “this, that and the other”? Some of us do:

Well, in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (September 13), she went one step further – and laughed at the plight of the students she intends to leave with an average debt of £57,000 after they leave university.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said: “The Prime Minister’s Government, with the support of the Lib Dems, trebled tuition fees. This afternoon, will the Prime Minister take the opportunity to vote against another Tory hike in student fees?”

No; she laughed.

Then she said: “Once again, there are a few things about people’s circumstances that the right hon. Gentleman failed to mention—things that the Government have done, such as giving a tax cut to 30 million people. For a basic rate taxpayer, that means £1,000 more in their pocket. That is what sound management of the economy by a Conservative Government delivers for people.”

What utter nonsense.

The tax cut to which she referred was the increase in the basic allowance – the amount people can earn before paying tax – that was prompted by the Liberal Democrats, not the Tories, during the Coalition Parliament of 2010-15. The amount of extra money it provided to people is meaningless when one remembers that real wages have fallen by more than 10 per cent over the last decade.

And in any case, it has absolutely no bearing on the amount of debt the Tories are pushing on students. None at all.

Responses on the social media have been scathing:

https://twitter.com/Parveen_Comms/status/907973603886592001


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Charlie Hebdo update: French mosque attacked

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Steve Bell’s response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings – ridiculing the attackers because they don’t deserve anything else (yes, there is an expletive and VP usually blacks them out… Not this time).

It’s understandable, but it isn’t the answer.

It seems that, following the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and the killing of 12 people by terrorists claiming to be Muslims, at least one mosque has been attacked along with other places – in retaliation?

NDTV carried the story: “Three blank grenades were thrown at the mosque shortly after midnight in the city of Le Mans, west of Paris; shots were also fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers in the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in southern France.

“An explosion at a kebab shop near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left no casualties.”

This is, of course, exactly what the terrorists wanted. Terrorists always want to set people against each other, for the wrong reasons. The vast majority of Muslims are likely to have been as horrified at the terror attack as everyone else – but what are they supposed to think, now that innocent Muslims are being attacked by idiots?

Here’s the real voice of Islam, in the words of Vox Political commenter ‘Nightentity’ yesterday: “Those that believe these so-called Imams are ignorant of their faith and will believe anything they hear that makes them seem intelligent and all knowing to the other ignorant [people].

“Terrorism is not Islamic, you don’t cause suffering to the aged, the weak and the innocent, you don’t hide behind masks and scarves, you stand like a man and fight a man’s battle. These terrorists are cowards and weaklings for they hide behind a faith that does not condone what they do.

“These terrorists are only out for power and control, they are not true Muslims in any sense of the word.” [Bolding mine]

Meanwhile, the world’s political (and other) cartoonists have responded to the attack. Here’s Lew Stringer:

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And Uderzo, the artist responsible for Asterix cartoons, paid respect to the deceased:

150108charlie2

Here in the UK, cartoonist (and friend of Vox Political) Martin Rowson responded to the atrocity in a Guardian comment piece. Under the headline We must not stop laughing at these murderous clowns, he wrote: “We’re very, very good at laughing at those who place themselves above us, either as our leaders or intending to impose their beliefs to make everyone else exactly like them. However much they may identify themselves as victims of mockery, those cartoonists’ murderers have clearly also identified themselves as on the side of the power.

“Don’t forget that demanding either respect or silence from everyone else is one of the most common abuses of power going. But don’t fool yourselves that this is about Islam… The British cartoonists’ names filling the Gestapo Death List were just another manifestation, throughout history, of how hateful laughter is to despots.

“Which is why, now more than ever, we mustn’t stop laughing this latest bunch of murderous clowns to scorn.”

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Iain Duncan Smith laughed at rape victim’s plight

141120IDSlaughed

[Image: Keith Lindsay-Cameron.]

How much longer must we tolerate this spiteful little thug?

From LabourList: “A victim of domestic violence – for her own safety, she’s known only as A – is taking the government to court. The reason? Because she’s being hit by the Bedroom Tax.

“The ‘spare room’ that the government want to penalise her for having is a specially adapted ‘Panic Room’. It’s there to provide a safe space for her and her child if her abusive ex-partner – who has raped and assaulted her – tries to cause her further harm. It has been specially adapted as a safe and secure space by the police.

“And yet the government want to hit her with the Bedroom Tax, because – as far as they’re concerned – she’s not making full use of her ‘spare’ room.

“Unfathomably, Iain Duncan Smith is defending the DWP and the government – having argued (without success) at a hearing in June that it should be dismissed.

“Today Ed Miliband rose in the chamber to challenge David Cameron on this grotesque case – the cherry on top of the disgusting Bedroom Tax cake. And what did the Prime Minister do? He defended the decision. He claimed that money had been made available for such cases.

“And yet if that’s the case why is A having to go to court to defend her own home? To defend her own safety? To defend her child?

This government are willing – way beyond the point where any rational person has departed from their argument – to argue in favour of the Bedroom Tax. The lives ruined and the families crushed under the weight of this draconian legislation are collateral damage. And all because they’re unwilling to accept that there simply aren’t enough affordable homes in the UK – or do anything about this fact.

“And how did Iain Duncan Smith, the villain (quite literally, a villain) of this piece react to Miliband’s questioning? According to Labour MP Fiona O’Donnell, the response of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was to laugh.

141120IDSlaughed2

Laughter.

As Ed Miliband spelled out the horrendous case – which this government are responsible for, caused and defends – of a woman trying to stay safe from her abusive, rapist ex-partner, Iain Duncan Smith laughed.

If you were trying to sum up the ills of this government in one simple act, that laughter might just be it.

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Food bank debate shows yet again the government’s argument has no substance

131219foodbanks

By now, we should all know how these Opposition Day debates go – but Wednesday’s discussion of food banks was one of the best examples I’ve heard.

The form goes like this: The relevant Labour shadow minister launches the debate, quoting the facts that support the argument (in this case, that the rise of food banks is a national disgrace and the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government’s policies have caused it), the government denies the charge – always with the same feeble excuses, backbenchers queue up to tell their own damning stories of what has happened to their constituents… and then the government wins the vote because its members have been whipped to vote against the motion, rather than because they believe it is wrong.

The food bank debate was textbook. Not only did it carry all these features, but:

  • The Secretary of State responsible, Iain Duncan Smith, declined to speak at all, but turned tail and ran after listening to only a small number of speakers.
  • Minister of State Esther McVey, who spoke in his place, delivered what Labour veteran Gerald Kaufman described as “one of the nastiest frontbench speeches I’ve heard in more than 43 years”.
  • As one story of government-created hardship followed another, Conservative MPs laughed. Clearly they are enjoying the suffering they are causing across the UK.

Each of these is a damning indictment of the depths to which the Coalition has driven British politics. But the debate is only half of this matter. Now it is our duty to publicise what happened. Many people may not know about this, or may not understand its significance.

They need to understand that food bank use has risen exponentially under David Cameron’s Conservative-led government, from 41,000 people in 2010 to half a million by April this year, one-third of whom were children. People are resorting to them because the cost of living is rising while wages have stagnated and social security benefit payments have been delayed or slashed. The government promised to publish a study on food banks in the summer of this year, but has delayed publication with no stated reason. The government department responsible – DEFRA – did not even put up a minister to speak in the debate.

Probably the most damning indictment was the vote. The Coalition government defeated a motion to bring forward measures that would reduce dependency on food banks. The obvious conclusion is that this government is happy to be pushing ordinary working and jobless people into crushing poverty – and intends to continue putting more and more people in the same situation for just as long as it possibly can.

We heard that:

  • People in Slough are fighting each other over discount fruit and vegetables in the local Tesco.
  • Food banks are visited by skilled workers who are unable to get jobs because of Coalition government policies.
  • Serious failures including administrative error in the benefit system mean one-fifth of the people visiting food banks are there because the Department for Work and Pensions has been unable to do its job properly.
  • The Bedroom Tax has hugely increased the number of people using food banks.
  • “The working poor are emerging as the Prime Minister’s legacy, as millions of people live in quiet crisis.” (Labour’s Jamie Reed).

In response, the Tories trotted out the old, old arguments, trying yet again to sell us the long-disproved claim that Labour forced the country into poverty by mismanaging the national finances. We heard, again, the turncoat Lord Freud’s claim that people were visiting food banks because the items there were free (ignoring the fact that everyone who visits a food bank is referred by a qualified organisation, and verified as being in crisis). We heard, again, the suggestion from our ignorant Education Secretary Michael Gove, that people are turning to food banks because they cannot manage their own finances (good management makes no difference if costs outweigh income; but then he clearly hasn’t been educated well enough to understand that).

Esther McVey’s speech showed clearly why she should have remained on breakfast television, where comparatively few people had to put up with her. She accused the previous Labour government of a “whirl of living beyond our means” that “had to come to a stop” without ever pausing to admit that it was Tory-voting bankers who had been living beyond their means, who caused the crash, and who are still living beyond their means today, because her corporatist (thank you, Zac Goldsmith) Conservative government has protected them.

She accused Labour of trying to keep food banks as “its little secret”, forcing Labour’s Jim Cunningham to remind us all that food banks were set up by churches to help refugees who were waiting for their asylum status to be confirmed – not as a support system for British citizens, as they have become under the Coalition’s failed regime.

She said the Coalition government was brought in to “solve the mess that Labour got us in”, which is not true – it was born from a backroom deal between two of the most unscrupulous party leaders of recent times, in order to ensure they and their friends could get their noses into the money trough (oh yes, there’s plenty of money around – but this government is keeping it away from you).

She said the Coalition had got more people into work than ever before – without commenting on the fact that the jobs are part-time, zero-hours, self-employed contracts that benefit the employers but exploit the workers and in fact propel them towards poverty.

She lied to Parliament, claiming that children are three times more likely to be in poverty if they are in a workless household. In fact, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in-work poverty has now outstripped that suffered by those in workless and retired households; children are more likely to be in poverty if their parents have jobs.

She attacked Labour for allowing five million people to be on out-of-work benefits, with two million children in workless households – but under her government the number of households suffering in-work poverty has risen to eight million (by 2008 standards), while workless or retired households in poverty have risen to total 6.3 million.

She claimed that 60,000 people were likely to use a food bank this year – but Labour’s Paul Murphy pointed out that 60,000 people will use food banks this year in Wales alone. The actual figure for the whole of the UK is 500,000.

She said the government had brought in Universal Credit to ensure that three million people become better-off. There’s just one problem with that system – it doesn’t work.

She said the Coalition’s tax cuts had given people an extra £700 per year, without recognising that the real-terms drop in wages and rise in the cost of living means people will be £1,600 a year worse-off when the next general election takes place, tax cuts included. She said stopping fuel price increases meant families were £300 better-off, which is nonsense. Families cannot become better off because something has not happened; it’s like saying I’m better off because the roof of my house hasn’t fallen in and squashed me.

Then, on top of all that, she had the nerve to tell the country, “Rewriting history doesn’t work.” If that is the case, then hers was one of the most pointless speeches in the history of Parliament.

Labour’s Jamie Reed had the best comment on the debate. He said: “The final verdict on any Government is based on how they treat the poorest in society during the hardest of times,” after pointing out that “the laughter from some of those on the Government benches … says more than words ever could.”

On a personal note, my own MP, Roger Williams, spoke about the food bank situation in Brecon and Radnorshire. It is gratifying that he is proud of the food bank set up by New Life Church, here in Llandrindod Wells – I well remember the telephone conversation I had with the organisers, in which I encouraged them to set it up. I am glad they took up the baton – and that he has appreciated their work.

Rather more worrying is the suggestion that he considers a possible new food bank in Brecon to be only the second in our constituency. There are food banks in many other towns, including Knighton, Ystradgynlais and Hay-on-Wye – with satellite facilities in smaller towns and villages. It is disturbing that the MP does not seem to know this.

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