Tag Archives: law

Cressida Dick says Prince Andrew is ‘not above the law’ – after she put many others above it

How can we believe Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick when she says Prince Andrew is “not above the law”?

She put Wayne Couzens above the law. He was the murderer and rapist of Sarah Everard, who was known as “The Rapist” by colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, years before he transferred to the Met, because of the unease he provoked in women.

It was reported that Kent Police had taken no action when in 2015 it was informed that he had been seen driving around Dover, naked from the waist down.

And the Met – which he joined in 2018 – received further accusations of indecent exposure by Couzens on two further occasions. Neither of them were investigated properly in the days before he kidnapped, raped and murdered Ms Everard.

She put the murderer(s) of Daniel Morgan above the law. She refused to provide vital documents to the independent inquiry into his death, and never provided a reasonable explanation.

She put all the police who attacked women during the vigil for Sarah Everard above the law too – by finding that they had done nothing wrong.

Who knows how many other people she has protected?

Now she says she will not protect Prince Andrew – a member of the Royal Family who enjoys a huge amount of privilege due to an accident of birth.

He is facing legal proceedings in the United States, after Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act, asserting that he had sexually assaulted her in that city and in London.

The case alleges the prince sexually abused Ms Giuffre – then known as Virginia Roberts – at the London home of Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and Little St James in the US Virgin Islands.

Ms Giuffre was an accuser of Epstein, who died of apparent suicide in his jail cell before he could be brought to trial for sex trafficking offences after being accused in 2019.

Dame Dick did not expressly refer to Prince Andrew when she was asked about the Giuffre case. Instead, she said [boldings mine] “No one is above the law.”

She then went on to refer exclusively to the way the Met had handled evidence in the Epstein case:

“The position there is that we’ve had more than one allegation that is connected with Mr Epstein and we have reviewed those, assessed those and we have not opened an investigation.”

She explained that the police force asks “is there evidence of a crime, is this the right jurisdiction for this to be dealt with and is the person against whom the crime is alleged still alive?”

“We have concluded that there is no investigation for us to open and we haven’t.”

Of course they wouldn’t, if one of the criteria is that the person against whom the crime was alleged had to be still alive. Epstein is dead. And the circumstances of his death in that jail cell have always seemed more than a little suspicious to This Writer.

The most she would say about the new case was that the Met would “again review our position”.

What does she mean, “again”? It seems to me, from what she was saying, that the Met has never examined evidence against Prince Andrew. Any repeat review of the evidence would be a review of the position regarding information the Met holds against Epstein. Wouldn’t it?

But she did say, “We are of course open to working with authorities from overseas, we will give them every assistance if they ask us for anything – within the law.”

Again with the caveats: “Within the law.” As defined by whom?

And will her co-operation – or lack of it – matter?

According to New York law, Prince Andrew will have to answer the accusations against him.

If he refuses, or ignores the court – as Ms Giuffre’s lawyer says he has ignored her legal team – then it seems Ms Giuffre will win the case by default.

If that happens, then it seems the verdict could be enforced in the UK, due to agreements this country has with the United States.

Prince Andrew has denied the accusation and has even claimed that a photo showing him with an arm around Ms Giuffre (then known as Roberts) had been doctored. Would that be the photo at the top of this article? If so, what do you think?

This case will run for a while, I reckon.

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Government appeals court ruling that contract with Gove cronies Public First was unlawful

Backhander: if you know the circumstances of the court case against the government over its contract with Public First, then you will know why I’m using this picture. If not, follow the link in the story to read the details.

After spending half a million pounds defending a decision to give a contract worth only slightly more to friends of Tory minister Michael Gove – and losing – the government intends to spend even more on an appeal.

In June, the High Court ruled that a Tory government decision to award a £560,000 contract to Public First gave rise to “apparent bias” and was unlawful.

Mrs Justice O’Farrell said: “The claimant is entitled to a declaration that the decision of 5 June 2020 to award the contract to Public First gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful.”

You can read the details of the case here.

Now the Good Law Project – which brought the case to court – has revealed that the government is appealing against the ruling, although the exact grounds for the appeal do not seem clear.

“We think his decision to spend more public money on an appeal is likely to be driven by a desire to postpone a further embarrassing loss in a separate challenge we are bringing,” a statement by the Good Law Project claims.

“We are challenging another lucrative contract awarded to allies of Michael Gove, this time to a company called Hanbury. It was due to be heard later this month but will now be delayed.

“However, the appeal gives us a chance to revivify the arguments … that there was time for a proper competitive tender process and/or no need to give such a long and valuable contract without any tender process.

“All of that having been said, we have to recognise Government spent an extraordinary £500,000+ on a one day hearing below – approximately twice what we managed to raise to fight and win the case. With that in mind, we have decided to reopen our crowdfunding page.”

If you are in a position to donate, you can do so here.

Source: Government is appealing – Good Law Project

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Let’s call Priti Patel’s immigration Bill what it is: The Anne Frank Law

Who thought that, decades after fighting a war against the people who caught and murdered Anne Frank, the people of the UK would vote in a regime that would do the same?

“Tories have introduced an Anne Frank law, that means if someone hid Anne Frank in their attic [in the UK] today, they would be prosecuted as a criminal.”

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It is not a good day to be #JacobReesMogg

Rees-Hitler: he lacks the moustache but his attitudes are in line with the Nazi dictator.

What a prize-winning public school chump.

Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to be down with the kids by quoting England football anthem World in Motion, but instead only demonstrated that he was up his own nationalist rectum.

The comment from Russ Jones on Twitter was entirely deserved:

And the humiliation does not end there for nanny’s boy Jacob.

He also went on the record in support of Priti Patel’s new anti-Immigration law:

This is the Bill that could send members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to prison – for life – if they even try to save the lives of refugees in danger of drowning while trying to cross into the UK.

It is the Bill that turns the UK into a full-on Nazi country because

Clearly Rees-Mogg is the anti-Semite in this situation. Priti Patel is the anti-Semite for pushing this Bill through the Commons.

They are clearly both racist to the core – and he’s a hypocrite too:

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Tory Hunt’s argument to block refugees is WRONG. Will the Tories really use it to change the law?

Border Force: if it has to enforce a new law blocking legitimate ways for refugees to come into the UK, won’t it be creating a market for people-traffickers?

Take a look at the following clip, from the July 6 edition of BBC2’s Politics Live.

The antagonists are left-wing social media presenter Ash Sarkar and Tory MP Tom Hunt, and they’re discussing plans by the Johnson Tory government to block ways in which refugees can come to the UK.

She puts forward common sense points about the reasons people would want to come to the UK after leaving a home country where they may be in danger – and points out that cutting off legitimate ways of entry will send more folk to the people-traffickers.

He repeats the oft-debunked – untrue – claim that refugees must settle in the first safe country they enter – and blusters. A lot.

As I stated on Twitter: “You can sympathise with every adult woman trying to reason with a little boy having a tantrum, can’t you?”

The concern is that it is Hunt who is in a position to make a new UK law on refugees.

On this evidence, it will be prejudiced – if not downright racist.

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Tories and Labour in war of… infographics… over dictatorial anti-protest Bill

What the Police Bill means: political protesters will be arrested and women will be harmed under Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

Did we all blink and miss the mainstream news coverage of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel’s new Bill to kill political protest in the UK – and harass minorities – passing its final stages in the House of Commons?

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill sailed through its Third Reading on July 5, meaning it will now go to the House of Lords for consideration before being passed into law.

When it is passed into law, it will seriously harm our freedoms in the following ways (as detailed previously on This Site):

The Conservatives are ending your right to protest.

The new law allows police to arrest anybody for putting on a political demonstration that is noticed by anybody else.

There’s no point in protesting if you’re not allowed to make enough noise for other people to notice it, of course.

The move has been interpreted – correctly – as an attempt to head off protests against the Conservatives’ planned political changes that will alter the UK from being a democracy (albeit a not-very-progressive one) into a full-blown dictatorship.

The Tories are giving the police huge new powers of oppression

The example I used was the new power to arrest travellers – not for committing a crime, but on suspicion that they might do so in the future. This comes with a power to confiscate their homes.

Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is full of similar increases of oppression, against people in all parts of the UK’s society, we’re told.

The Conservatives are continuing to turn a blind eye to crimes against women – especially if they are committed by the police

Hate crime is the trademark of Conservative governments in the UK since 2010. They have stirred up hatred against migrant workers; they’ve stirred it up against people with long-term illnesses and disabilities. Their new Police Bill will stir up more hate against minorities, while failing to protect more than half the population from crime.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill sets the penalty for attacking a statue at 10 years imprisonment. That is twice as long a term as the starting-point sentence for rape.

The strategy for getting the Bill passed is simple, childish, and therefore oft-repeated; the offensive measures are mixed in with measures that would create a genuine improvement*.

It is a strategy that the Tories plan to repeat with their forthcoming Bill to increase NHS privatisation.

The premise is simple: anybody opposing the Bill because it attacks our freedoms is accused of opposing the useful measures instead.

Want to see it in action?

The Tories launched a series of infographics into the social media on July 5, after Labour voted against the Police anti-protest Bill. Here’s how they describe Labour’s behaviour:

They also used this:

Labour hit back with this:

I wonder how many people even noticed.

Your legal rights were voted away behind a smokescreen of reasonable policies and it wasn’t reported at all by the mainstream press.

And this is all the Labour Party produced to attack what happened.

Don’t get me wrong; the failure to increase minimum sentences for rapists is important (although possible less important than the failure to secure any sentences at all for most of them?) but the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill contains much more material that is just as evil.

But nobody could be bothered to explain it to the public beyond a couple of infographics that didn’t even touch all the main issues.

*Of course a reasonable and responsible approach would be to separate out the measures that would win Parliament-wide approval and discuss the offensive material separately. But that would require our elected members to behave like adults – and that is well beyond Boris Johnson’s capabilities.

Source: Labour votes against “draconian” anti-protest bill but it passes by majority of 100 – LabourList

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Government to give employees a right to work from home – but are there strings attached?

This is home working: check out the complete lack of anything resembling a business suit, the face that hasn’t seen a razor in days, and the portrait of a CAT in a military uniform in the background. And at its height, This Site is read by 180,000 people in a day. No wonder I’ve got a manic grin all over my face.

On the face of it, this is an amazingly progressive move by one of the most regressive governments in UK history.

According to the Mail (and other news outlets), Boris Johnson is pushing forward with a 2019 Tory manifesto commitment to give people the right to work from home unless employers can demonstrate that office working is essential.

Consultation on the plan will take place over the summer, hopefully taking into account the experiences of firms whose employees have worked from home during the Covid-19 crisis.

A survey has shown that 71 per cent of firms found home working either made no difference to their productivity – or boosted it.

Labour has raised concerns over the plan.

In a comment, Angela Rayner said:

We cannot have one-sided flexibility that allows employers to dictate terms to their workers when it comes to flexible working arrangements.

The starting point must be a strengthening of workers’ rights on flexible working so that workers are not pressured or blackmailed back into unsafe workplaces.

From the Mail‘s article, that’s not what’s going on here. But I can’t advise anyone to trust the Tories to do the right thing, so we’ll have to stay sceptical until we can read the small print of the proposed legislation.

Personally, up until Covid, This Writer seemed to have a unique perspective on home working.

I quit the last newspaper to employ me as a staffer because I wasn’t allowed to work from home after the local office that was my base was moved from a barely-manageable 27 miles from home to a diabolical 41 miles away.

When the idea of moving the office’s location was mooted, I complained vehemently (although admittedly I wasn’t then the monster who writes for you today).

Because most of my stories were generated in the area where I lived, it meant I may spend a huge amount of working time on the road – time better-spent working on news stories.

I said the only way I would be able to carry on is if I worked from home four days a week (not five, because sometimes attending the office can be important).

It wasn’t until after the office move had taken place that I was told that this would not be permitted. The impression I had was that managers assumed I wouldn’t actually do any work without one of them looking over my shoulder.

So I quit. I leave it up to you to judge whether the collapse of the Mid Wales edition of that paper a few months later had anything to do with my departure and the reason for it.

Of course, all of the work I have done on Vox Political has been from home. It is now my main source of income and at one point last year I had nearly 180,000 hits in a day.

So, y’know, I’ve always been convinced that home working is not only possible, but profitable.

I’m glad Covid has demonstrated this more widely.

And I hope the Tory government recognises it in any legislation it brings forward.

Source: Shock plans to work from home forever: Ministers propose to make it illegal to be forced into office | Daily Mail Online

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Priti Patel attacks immigrants again: her policies breached human rights rules on deaths in detention

Priti Patel has been creating prejudiced policies to frustrate or undermine inquiries into the deaths of people held at her immigration detention centres.

That is the ruling of two judges in the immigration court (and be honest, did you even know we had one?) on Wednesday.

It relates to two friends, Ahmed Lawal and Oscar Lucky Okwurime, both from Nigeria, who were in Harmondsworth immigration removal centre when Okwurime was found dead in his cell there on 12 September 2019.

Lawal was a key witness – but the Home Office, run by Priti Patel, tried to have him deported back to Nigeria five days after the death was discovered – before he could provide any evidence.

He took the case to the High Court where a judge halted his removal.

After he gave evidence in person at an inquest in November 2020, a jury found that Okwurime had died unnaturally, as a result of neglect following a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which can rupture due to hypertension. His blood pressure reading on August 22, 2019 showed hypertension.

The jury found that this reading was not taken again due to multiple failures to adhere to healthcare policy.

Given these opportunities to repeat this basic medical test on a vulnerable person, neglect contributed to the death.

So the Home Office was responsible for the death through neglect of a person in its custody – and had tried to deport the vital witness before he was able to give evidence.

Lawal then challenged the Home Office in the immigration court, focusing on whether the home secretary can remove a potential witness to a death in custody before it is clear whether they will be needed as a witness.

The judges found fault, not only with Home Office policy at the time but with two replacement policies:

The judges found that the home secretary’s decision to remove Lawal to Nigeria was unlawful as she had failed to take reasonable steps to secure his evidence relating to Okwurime’s death before starting removal proceedings.

A replacement policy in August 2020 was also found to be unlawful as it failed to identify and take steps to secure the evidence of those who may have relevant information about a death in detention.

The home secretary’s current policy was found to be “legally deficient”. The judges found that the absence of a policy to direct what should happen following a death in immigration detention was unlawful and concluded that there needed to be such a policy.

A spokesperson for the Home Office is reported as saying that it will be “refreshing” its current processes – not changing them, notice.

I suppose we should be grateful that they didn’t say “lessons have been learned”.

I expect we shall soon find that the only lessons learned from this case are how to cover up any further deaths so we don’t find out about them.

Source: Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules | Priti Patel | The Guardian

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Starmer tries to jump on ‘law and order’ bandwagon. Satirists push him off

Keir Starmer: I couldn’t find a single image of this former Director of Public Prosecutions with police officers.

The ridiculous Keir Starmer never misses an opportunity to make a fool of himself.

Elected as Labour leader on the basis of 10 pledges (all now broken) that didn’t say a word about law and order, he is now trying to remodel Labour as “the party of law and order” because he can see public opinion swinging against the Tories.

Apparently he’s putting the enforcement of criminal justice at the centre of his local election campaign – even though local authorities have no influence over policing. Nice one, Keith!

Also, there’s currently a huge controversy over the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that his Labour Party rightly opposes due to its introduction of a huge number of new offences (many in breach of our human rights) and draconian punishments for them.

Labour can’t stop the Tories from passing it into law. Does his new campaign mean Labour will enthusiastically support the punishment of these new offences, despite opposing their creation?

He also said the new Police Bill was a missed opportunity to stop violence against women and girls – taking his cue from the backlash against the policing of the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard and the numerous protest demonstrations against police misbehaviour that have followed.

It is – but he didn’t say how he would improve that Bill to ensure that the law protects us, enshrines our human rights, and punishes police officers who cross the line into unlawful violence.

In other words, he gassed a lot of hot air at us. It doesn’t mean a thing.

If he thought we wouldn’t notice, he was sorely mistaken. Here are a few reactions from Twitter:

(This is obviously a reference to the year he has spent sitting on the fence, since he became Labour leader.)

Of them all, this is probably closest to the mark:

Source: Sir Keir Starmer vows law and order drive and hits out at Tories on crime | Evening Standard

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Hancock LIED when he said there was never a national PPE shortage. Here’s the evidence. Now demand his resignation

Yet again: the PPE used in UK hospitals at the start of the Covid crisis is pictured bottom right. The infographic was made when the UK had hardly any personal protective equipment – but now Matt Hancock is trying to save his job by claiming there was never any shortage.

The Death Health Secretary is trying to rewrite history:

Did you hear him?

One minute and 40 seconds in: “But there wasn’t a national shortage [of personal protective equipment – PPE] at any point.”

That is simply untrue.

Here he is in April last year, saying he’d love to wave a magic wand to resolve PPE shortages:

The Tory government of the day was told in 2016/17, after Operation Cygnus, that the UK’s health service would be unable to cope with a pandemic virus infection without plentiful supplies of protective equipment for health workers… and decided that such an investment was too expensive.

This led to a situation in March 2020 when an NHS procurement chief, Alan Hoskins tweeted: “What a day, no gowns NHS Supply Chain. Rang every number escalated to NHS England, just got message back — no stock, can’t help, can send you a PPE pack. Losing the will to live, god help us all.”

The tweet was subsequently deleted, possibly under duress as even then the Tory government was trying to hide the facts. As This Writer put it on April 3 last year: “it seems doctors have been warned not to make any comments about shortages on social media, as well as avoiding talking to journalists, and NHS England has taken over media operations for many hospitals and health trusts in order to ensure that they all stay “on message”.”

On April 17 I brought public attention to the plight of nurses who had been forced to wear bin bags instead of proper protection. According to Metro,

Three nurses who wore bin bags on their shifts due to a shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Just weeks ago, the nurses had shared a photo of themselves with clinical waste bags on their heads and feet as they issued a plea for proper masks, gowns and gloves at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow.

I wrote: “One of them had said they were all “terrified” that this might happen, knowing that colleagues had caught the disease from patients, and having treated those colleagues. They had seen what the illness does… We know what the government that failed them is going to give them: Platitudes.”

How right I was.

On April 19 I quoted a Sunday Times piece on the Johnson government’s PPE failures that showed he had sent 278,800 items of protective kit to China in February – immediately before the UK had needed it:

Downing Street admitted on February 24 — just five days before NHS chiefs warned a lack of PPE left the health service facing a “nightmare” — that the UK government had supplied 1,800 pairs of goggles and 43,000 disposable gloves, 194,000 sanitising wipes, 37,500 medical gowns and 2,500 face masks to China.

Don’t worry – it seems we may be getting some of it back. It’s just that the government isn’t sure, having lost £15 billion worth of PPE, some of which it has bought (back?) from other countries including China:

The government is not sure where billions of pounds worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) is located, the head of the National Audit Office has disclosed.

Gareth Davies, the comptroller and auditor general, said outside consultants had been brought into Whitehall to find all equipment, which is stored at different sites around the country, or is in transit from abroad.

Under questioning from the public accounts committee, Davies said: “We have been working closely with the DoH. It has commissioned consultants to advise it on first of all understanding where all the PPE that has been bought actually is. It sounds like a strange question but it is a really big issue because it is not all standing neatly in an NHS store somewhere.

“We have amounts in containers, in storage around the country, there’s some on the docks and there is some en route somewhere from China.”

On April 18 last year, I quoted a Mirror report that

NHS doctors and nurses will be asked to treat patients infected with coronavirus without full-length gowns – or re-use the ones they have, it has emerged tonight.

The Government has been under fire for weeks over the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), with some frontline staff warning that they have had to work in situations where they feel unsafe.

Public Health England guidelines currently state that full-length waterproof surgical gowns should by worn by medical workers to stop Covid-19 spreading into someone’s mouth or nose.

However, there has now been a U-turn advising staff to wear a flimsy plastic apron when gowns run out or not wear one at all

And Matt Hancock has the cheek to tell us now that there was never a shortage.

Here’s a tweet about PPE availability in one hospital on April 19:

The following day we learned a much-touted delivery of PPE from Turkey would last just three days. It had been previously reported that Boris Johnson had refused to join an EU scheme to provide PPE where it was needed (see the Peter Stefanovic tweet towards the top of this article).

On April 24 we found

The UK’s stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in a pandemic…  has been outsourced to a private company, Movianto, which was sold two weeks ago for $133m (£107m) by its owner, a large US healthcare group.

Two days later the Turkish shipment of PPE arrived – and proved to be just one-twelfth of the expected amount.

Later in the Covid crisis we learned that the Tories were using the emergency procurement system which bypasses the competitive tendering process and allows the government to purchase items and services direct from chosen firms, was being abused.

Tories were giving cash to their cronies in return for equipment that simply wasn’t fit to be used.

The classic example is that of Board of Trade president (and cheese queen) Liz Truss, who spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS that couldn’t be used.

She had been approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills. Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

Mills was subsequently removed from his advisory position. But Truss didn’t go anywhere.

Tory ministers “learned the lessons” from this mistake by handing a further £180 million to their cronies for PPE.

Did we get it? Doubtful.

All the way down the line the Tories have failed us.

They gave away our PPE when we needed it.

They failed to join an international scheme to provide it where it was needed.

They failed to source it themselves.

They gave money to their friends and cronies who had no experience in providing PPE, and received trash in return.

As a result, health service professionals caught Covid-19. Many of them died.

And Matt Hancock, who is on video record from last year, saying he wished he could wave a magic wand and eliminate the PPE shortage, is now telling us he shouldn’t have to resign for breaking the law by hiding contract details – because he made sure there was never a PPE shortage.

He is a LIAR.

He should resign NOW.

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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