Tag Archives: Leicester

Leicester’s local lockdown was triggered by Tory rush to reopen schools

Closed: Leicester has gone back into hard lockdown after the Tory decision to reopen schools gave it the highest Covid-19 spike in the UK.

What a silly gang of Tories!

Matt Hancock has had to humiliate himself – and his government – by admitting that the spike in Covid-19 cases that triggered a decision to put Leicester back in lockdown was a result of the Tory decision to reopen schools.

In their haste to get adults back to work by removing their need to stay at home and care for their children, the Tories have worsened the situation.

We should keep a close eye on Leicester’s death statistics, as any that happen as a result of this spike will be the responsibility of Boris Johnson, Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock and they should be punished for them.

Here’s a BBC report:

Stricter lockdown measures have been announced in Leicester because of a rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said non-essential shops will shut on Tuesday, and schools will close for most pupils on Thursday.

The loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants will also not be taking place in the city on Saturday.

Mr Hancock said Leicester accounted for “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week”.

He said the decision to close non-essential retail was based on clinical advice, and added that “children had been particularly impacted” by the local outbreak.

Five Leicester schools have closed since the beginning of June because of the number of coronavirus cases.

Let’s add some flesh to those bare bones:

The comment about the Labour Right refers to the fact that Keir Starmer has withdrawn any opposition to the reopening of schools in England after sacking former shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey. Boris Johnson’s joyful response was to threaten to fine anybody who withholds their children from school when term starts in September.

Of course the restoration of the lockdown has given humorists an opportunity to take some more shots at Dominic Cummings – and quite right too – so we’re seeing lots of this sort of thing, especially after Boris Johnson threatened to take action against people trying to leave Leicester by road:


Can anyone deny the validity of this assertion?

It all boils down to this:

Source: Leicester lockdown tightened as coronavirus cases rise – BBC News

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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Joshua ‘Moronic Troll’ Bonehill: Fuehrer without a leaderguard – Beastrabban\’s Weblog


Here’s an example of the British Far Right at its worst. Before the Beast blogged the following about him, the name of Joshua Bonehill was already known to Yr Obdt Srvt – he is due in court soon, for creating a website in a friend’s name and using it to claim the other person was a paedophile.

A nasty piece of work indeed – but don’t take this writer’s word for it; here’s the Beast:

Remember Joshua Bonehill? Tom Pride over at Pride’s Purge blogged about him a year or so ago. He’s the Hitler wannabe, who boasted at he had at least 20,000 + followers on Twitter. He was trying to set up his own Far Right party and was appealing for men to join his ‘Leader Guard’. This was to be the new Praetorian guard to march with and protect him as Fuehrer of the new British extreme Right. Mr Pride was alarmed as one of his Twitter followers was a British army colonel.

I thought that Bonehill and his dreams of Nazi Fuehrertum were so bonkers that it had to be a wind-up. Surely someone, who was so obviously trying to be early 21st Century’s Britain’s own Adolf couldn’t possibly be serious?

I was wrong.

He was.

Last week was Holocaust memorial week, and the country remembered the liberation of the Nazi Death Camps and the almost unbelievable horror that was perpetuated there. The surviving inmates, some well into their nineties, told their stories.

At the same time this was going, Bonehill was planning a Nazi march against the 20,000 strong Jewish community of Stamford Hill in London.

Think that’s bad? Try this list from the anti-far right site EDL News:

  • Bonehill attempted to organise a demonstration in Cardiff last year under his National British Resistance Political party. The party consisted of two other people, one with learning difficulties who he scammed for £500. He did not show up, neither did his friends.
  • His Woolwich Strong t-shirt sales scam saw him allegedly net over £1000. According to our sources, none of the money has been given to the Lee Rigby fund. A grand total of £5 went to Help for Heroes and then rest he put down as administrative costs.
  • Bonehill’s online popularity seems to stem from spending lots of money buying Facebook likes and Twitter followers from countries such as Pakistan, India and Turkey in order to make himself look more popular. Much of that money went down the pan recently when both Twitter and Facebook kicked him off their networks.
  • According to locals, Bonehill is allegedly banned from a large supermarket chain nationwide for getting drunk and trying to defecate in the aisle of the cosmetics department, before being forcibly removed by security guards. We cannot corroborate this story ourselves but a number of witnesses have confirmed the story.
  • Bonehill has a conviction for using his Conservative party membership card to break into a police station and steal uniforms. When caught he assaulted a police officer.
  • He is allegedly banned from the Mermaid pub in Yeovil after one of the barmaids had him up against the wall by his throat and threw him out for reasons we are unable to disclose. Again, a number of local people have confirmed this.
  • Drink seems to be a major factor in Bonehill’s life according to most people we spoke to which explains the online bravado exhibited.
  • He is awaiting sentencing on five charges of harassment and two charges of malicious communications arising from undertaking lengthy and concerted campaigns branding as paedophiles, people who disagreed and outwitted him online (no hard task).
  • After pleading guilty to a hoax which claimed the Globe Pub in Leicester has refused service to a soldier, the BBC described him as a ‘moronic troll’.

The thing about this idiot is that, despite this writer’s friend having done everything he could to get rid of the “moronic troll”, he persisted with a course of action that led into court.

With a list of previous offences as long as his undoubtedly is, how stupid can one man be?

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Delights – and disgraces – of the Atos day of protest

Taking sides: Some of the demonstrators at Newtown, Powys. [Image: Mike Sivier]

Taking sides: Some of the demonstrators at Newtown, Powys. [Image: Mike Sivier]

Were you one of the many, many people – both able-bodied and with disabilities – who gathered outside Atos assessment centres yesterday to demand an end to the system that continues to cause the deaths of thousands of innocent people every day?

I was.

I attended one of the 144 locations used by Atos to carry out the discredited work capability assessments – in Newtown, Powys – where I was just another face in the crowd that had gathered to remind the public of the atrocity being carried out with their tax money.

The Newtown campaign was undoubtedly small in comparison to others around the country, with a maximum of 15 protesters at its height, but the public response was excellent. The assessment centre is next to a major traffic junction, meaning there were plenty of opportunities to talk to motorists while they waited for the lights to change.

The overwhelming majority of them were enthusiastically supportive.

Also supportive were the local police. We were lucky enough to have two beat officers – I think their names were Graham and Geraldine – checking in on us at regular intervals to ensure that we were not harassed or abused.

I understand that this was not the case nationally – in London, according to the Atos National Demo Facebook page, “150 Police including riot Police were … waiting for 80 disabled demonstrators”.

Elsewhere, people took creative action to raise awareness. Beastrabban’s blog tells of a rosette laid for the victims of Atos and the government’s benefit ‘reforms’ in Derby. He writes: “In the centre of the rosette is a form of the dedication to the dead read out annually for the victims of the First and Second World Wars at the Cenotaph, adapted for these new victims of government indifference and cruelty:

“‘Atos shall not weary them, nor IDS condemn. At the going down of the sun, we shall remember them.’

“Each of the ribbons surrounding this dedication has the name of one Atos’ victims.”

If you want to see the rosette, visit the blog; there is a link to the image.

In Leicester, Jayne Linney was up at 5am, taking her medication, in order to be coherent for a local radio interview at 8am, with time to recover before attending her local demo with around 50 other people.

This featured a programme lasting more than two hours, with speakers, poets and singers – captured by local homeless project Down Not Out and featured in the local press. Further information is on her blog.

But not all experiences were positive. Look at this:


This sign was found outside the Atos office in Weston-Super-Mare. I believe the person in the photograph was among those who found it, not those who made it – so please don’t direct any harsh comments at her.

This sign is what greeted demonstrators in Weston-Super-Mare when they arrived at the Atos office there. Clearly this office contains some very hard-line supporters of government policy, whose attitude demonstrates the blinkered, small-minded, fantasy-world attitude that allows policies like the Atos assessment regime to exist in a supposedly advanced country like ours.

For information: Not everybody attending the Atos day of action was on incapacity or disability benefits. Many were people of excellent health who came along because they are thinking people who have realised how hugely damaging the Atos assessments are, or who have friends and relatives who have been victimised by the system, and wanted to voice their opposition.

A similarly large proportion of those taking part – both able-bodied and with illnesses or disabilities – had jobs. They took time off to join the demonstrations because they believe it is wrong to victimise those who are least able to fight back; that it is wrong to bully them into an early grave.

I cannot speak for any of the other events but at Newtown, three-fifths of those present were able-bodied, including myself.

Long-term readers of this blog will be well aware that Mrs Mike has been at the receiving end of Atos – and DWP – mistreatment for years. That is why I am vocal in my opposition to Atos and the government policies that support its assessment regime.

Was the day of action a success? Yes and no.

Undoubtedly the impact on the general public has been huge. Many, many people have been made aware that people are being pushed to their deaths by government policy, and many more will become aware of it over the next few days, as media reports go out in the local press (for example, I’m expecting a report in a Powys paper today).

But there won’t be a change of policy. We have a government that does not care about public attitudes at any time except during election campaigns. At elections, we know that both Coalition parties are happy to lie through their teeth to you, in order to win your votes.

The task now is to remind people on the street of this fact – as often as is necessary to cement in the knowledge that a vote for the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats is a betrayal of the most vulnerable people in the UK today.

After all, what kind of psychopath wants their vote to condemn an innocent person to destitution – and possibly even death?

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The public wants politicians to clean up their act; will we fail?

The petition is up and taking signatures. Please sign and share.

The petition is up and taking signatures. Please sign and share.

Two things happened yesterday evening to convince me that the fight to root corruption out of the House of Commons is not only necessary but urgent.

First, the inaugural ‘mass tweet’ by supporters of my #CleanHouseOfCommons petition – I know it’s a mouthful but clarity was required – took place between 9 and 10pm and was a modest success. We got 45 extra signatures and put it back into the top 10 trending petitions on the government’s website. Another 30, or thereabouts, have signed since then (at the time of writing).

That might not seem many to the casual reader, but it’s a good start. This is a petition that has no mass-media support, nor is it boosted by an endorsement from anyone who could be described as a celebrity. It is gathering signatures by word of mouth (or rather, in this internet age, via Facebook shares, Twitter re-tweets, other social media and possibly email as well).

This is why I keep having to emphasise the importance of spreading the word. It isn’t enough to sign a petition like this and expect everyone else to publicise it. If you believe in the cause it puts forward, please, tell the people you know. Say, “I’ve just signed a petition to stop MPs lining their pockets with private, corrupt side deals while they’re supposed to be serving the public – and I think you might want to do the same”. It takes a few seconds and the effect could be enormous.

Secondly, there was an exchange of views on the BBC’s Question Time, which started less than an hour after the mass tweet ended.

Questioner Elliott Hill asked: “With public scepticism towards MPs, similarities between the major parties and a decrease in party membership, is party politics dying?”

This was an opportunity to explore the reasons people are turning away from politicians – and corruption, the fact that politicians are using their positions to make decisions that people don’t want (but that are profitable for them personally), had to be high on the list.

George Galloway made the point about corruption by drawing attention to Parliamentary expenses: “We have a Parliament full of expenses frauds. We have a Parliament that’s almost always on holiday. Since I was elected 11 months ago, Parliament has been on holiday almost 50 per cent of the time – and the rest of the time, they’re filling in their expenses forms.”

Fraser Nelson (and I’m not a fan) made a good point about party funding: “Politicians go on about constitutional reform, but only the type that favours their own party. If you think the situation is bad now, then wait until they get state funding for political parties… It should never happen because they should be forced – all of them… to go and find ideas that people think are worth supporting. Either do that or go bust.”

In other words, once their funding is coming direct from the taxpayer, individual opinions won’t matter at all. They won’t listen to you if they don’t need to – and then they really will be rigging the system to make as much out of it for themselves as they possibly can.

These were views that the audience wholeheartedly supported. Look at this response from one audience member: “If you say you’re all fighting for the people, when do you listen to the people that you are there for? You’ve got to listen to the people – what they want.”

Or this one: “Isn’t it our democratic system that is broken? I go to a polling booth and have to vote for the best of a bad bunch… It’s not who I want to vote for, but who’s going to stop a different party getting in.”

Or this one: “Politicians are playing their own game – ‘If it’s in their favour, we’ll vote against it’. That’s playing against what the public need.”

Another audience member said: “Before an election, all parties promise this, that and the other, so they vote them in, and then after, they renege on what they promised.”

A perfect example of of this – politicians pandering to the public in order to gain popularity – then followed when the panel was asked where Richard III should be bured – Leicester (where the recording was taking place), York or London.

Every representative of the three major parties – Mary Creagh, Maria Miller and Susan Kramer – said Leicester, and received huge applause from the audience in return.

It was a prime example of the current political system in action (or inaction): Say what people want to hear – then do whatever suits you personally. In this case, the decision won’t even be up to them, so it was a conscience-free response.

The message was clear: Your MPs are not in Parliament to represent your interests. Your MPs are there to represent themselves and, where it suits them, their party.

The only way to make them do their job – as it has always been described to you – is to make it impossible for them to line their own pockets.

That’s the debate I’m trying to open up with the e-petition. It’s at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44971 – if you agree with the Question Time audience, then please do something about it. You can’t make a difference by doing nothing.

And would you want to be responsible for allowing the corruption to continue?