Tag Archives: less

Ex-Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption tells Stage 4 cancer sufferer her life is ‘less valuable’

Lord Sumption: when he opened his mouth, he opened a can of worms.

Are you losing any faith you have in our legal system,s people like Lord Jonathan Sumption in it? I am.*

On a BBC debate show, The Big Questions, discussing the cost of lockdown, he argued that he believed his children’s and grandchildren’s lives were worth more than his ‘because they’ve got a lot more of it ahead’.

It created considerable controversy when podcaster Deborah James, who has Stage 4 metastatic bowel cancer, said – well, see for yourself:

Sumption tried to justify himself:

He said: ‘I object extremely strongly to any suggestion that I was inferring that Miss James’s life was less valuable because she had cancer.

‘I thought she was responding to my earlier comments about older people being protected by a total lockdown which is causing immense harm to the young who are unaffected.

‘That harm can be to their mental health or through cooping undergraduates up at university or through the loss of jobs.

‘I was saying this should not be inflicted on the young to protect old people like me.

‘If Miss James has misinterpreted that then I can only apologise to her as it was not my intention to suggest she was less valuable. Sometimes on videolinks it can be difficult to hear what the other person is saying.’

But he did say she was less valuable.

Is this the kind of judgement he made in the Supreme Court?

Were cases decided on whether a person was “more valuable” than another – to society, perhaps? On what would that have been based? Money? Societal position?

And what does that mean for justice? That those of us who are poor, or don’t have a role that Lord Sumption considers “valuable” could not rely on a fair judgement in our court cases?

Don’t ask me for an answer because I honestly don’t know.

Members of the public have formed their own opinions (apologies for the fact that so many of them are attached to the same video):

Yes. And did he make similar decisions, on the basis of his own view of worth, while he was a judge?

If so, bang goes British justice.

Source: Lord Sumption tells Stage 4 cancer sufferer her life is ‘less valuable’ than others | Daily Mail Online

*And it’s a huge concern for me, because I am involved in court proceedings at the time of writing.

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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Austerity made UK less-prepared to tackle Covid-19 crisis, health expert says

This isn’t rocket science.

Of course austerity contributed to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic found the UK’s Tory government sitting on its collective thumbs.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, said that the lack of financial support given to the health and social care systems during the 2010s is partly to blame for the overwhelming issues now facing the country.

I’ve got an infographic about that. Let’s see…

Sir Michael was particularly sharp about the cuts to social care:

“We’re terribly worried about the health of workers in social care. The reduction in adult social care spending over the last decade was 7 per cent in real terms. But in the most deprived 20 per cent of areas the reduction was 16 per cent. In the least deprived 20 per cent the reduction was 3 per cent.”

And of course the coronavirus has hit the most deprived areas the hardest. You see how this ties together?

“So there’s a clear line between our lack of preparedness in the healthcare system, in the social care system and in community resources more generally – the decline of support for the voluntary sector – a clear line between austerity and our lack of preparedness to cope with this pandemic.”

Sir Michael went on to say that rather than being “the great leveller”, as some have described the coronavirus pandemic, he believed it had instead exposed “underlying health inequalities” and amplified them.

He’s saying that, since they came into office in 2010, the Tories have been using well-known funding inequalities to make deprived areas less able to cope with a crisis like Covid-19.

They may not have had a pandemic in mind (although that’s debatable) but the result is the same:

His comments followed a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that found that people living in the most deprived areas of England have experienced coronavirus mortality rates more than double those living in the least deprived areas.

For those deaths involving Covid-19 that took place between March 1 and April 17, the mortality rate in the most deprived areas was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

By contrast, the rate was 25.3 deaths per 100,000 in the least deprived areas.

So there’s a clear link: more than twice as many people have died in deprived areas than in affluent places – because of Tory austerity policies that hit the poorest much harder than the rich.

Source: Coronavirus latest: Britain’s lack of preparedness for tackling Covid-19 crisis linked to austerity, health expert says | inews

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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Labour calls Commons vote over Lord Freud comments on disabled workers – The Guardian

141019freud

Labour will force a Commons vote on Lord Freud’s future after David Cameron refused to dismiss him as welfare minister for his suggestion that some disabled workers are not worth the minimum wage, according to The Guardian.

The Conservative peer has been allowed to remain in his job after apologising for the comment, but Labour will table a motion of no confidence to be voted on later this month.

Separately, the Independent on Sunday reported that a second government minister had made contentious comments over the role of disabled people in the workplace. Andrew Selous, a justice minister, was said to have told a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference that “disabled people work harder because they’re grateful to have a job”.

Read the full story here.

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With so many unemployed who do not deserve it, why does Freud still have a job?

Let’s answer the headline question straight away – because Tories think he’s right.

David Cameron might have said the words spoken by David Freud were not government policy but they certainly seem to be the policy of Jackie Doyle-Price, Conservative MP for Thurrock, who tweeted:

141016minwagejackiedoyleprice

As a social Darwinist (along with all Tories these days, it seems), it is to be hoped that she appreciated the justice of what happened to her next, as the Twitterverse tore her comment to shreds and then started picking the bones of the carcass. Here’s a representative example:

141016minwagerednorth

Some got more to the point:

141016minwageloulouk1

141016minwageloulouk2

Responding to a criticism that entitlement to the minimum wage should be tied to the ability to do a job to a normal standard or speed, the response was:

141016minwageloulouk3

 Fair comment?

Meanwhile, here on Vox Political, our poll on whether Freud should get the boot, despite having apologised, has been hugely popular. At the time of writing, there have been 1,890 responses. Of these, 1,834 called for his resignation (97.04 per cent), 51 said he should stay (2.7 per cent) and five didn’t know (0 per cent) [all percentages have been rounded up or down, which is why this poll appears to have a 100.1 per cent response].

The result seems decisive. The British people have spoken.

Why does he still have a job?

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POLL: Lord Freud has apologised – should he keep his job?

130927freudboilyourhead

Lord Freud has apologised for suggesting that disabled people were not ‘worth’ the minimum wage.

According to The Spectator, he has said:

“I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else.

“I care passionately about disabled people. I am proud to have played a full part in a government that is fully committed to helping disabled people overcome the many barriers they face in finding employment. That is why through Universal Credit – which I referred to in my response – we have increased overall spending on disabled households by £250m, offered the most generous work allowance ever, and increased the disability addition to £360 per month.

“I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.”

Those of you who are disabled will no doubt be extremely interested – if not entertained – by the second paragraph of the above, in which Lord Freud fantasizes about his role in the Conservative-led Coalition’s policies of impoverishing them and forcing them towards death in the gutter or suicide before they get that far.

It is easy to see how ‘Lord Fraud’ got his nickname.

Let’s have a poll:

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Freud should be sacked for saying disabled workers are “not worth the full wage”

Labour were quick to get this infographic out to the public.

Labour were quick to get this infographic out to the public.

One of Labour’s biggest mistakes when in government – the employment of David Fraud – sorry, Freud – could soon be rectified after he made a disastrous comment at the Conservative Party conference.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 15), he was revealed to have said on September 30: “There is a group… where actually… they’re not worth the full wage and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually” [make it possible for them to do so].

Labour leader Ed Miliband, challenging David Cameron to act on the remarks, said they represented the Tories’ “worst instincts”.

Cameron’s response – that these “were not the views of anyone in government” – was appallingly weak. Clearly they were: Lord Freud is, after all, a member of the government.

Commentators across the UK, watching the exchange on TV or the Internet, were quick to comment on the fact that Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Freud’s boss, was seen scuttling out of the House of Commons before PMQs ended.

Freud entered frontline politics when in 2006 he was appointed by Tony Blair to review social security, and devised the now-hated system which features expanded private-sector involvement and forces people on incapacity benefits to try to find a way back into “economic activity”.

In 2008 he was rehired to advise James Purnell, and helped produce a white paper requiring most people receiving benefits to participate in some form of mandatory work activity, as it is now known.

Then in February 2009, he joined the Conservative Party. That should have been a strong indicator to Labour that they had been harbouring a viper in their midst, and should have been all the reason needed to rip out his social security changes and put in something more humane. Alas, Labour missed the chance.

He was given a life peerage as Baron Freud in June that year and became a welfare minister in 2010, when the Coalition sidled into office.

Freud was quickly in trouble with the public for misrepresenting the level of fraud in welfare claims – perhaps this is where his own nickname, ‘Lord Fraud’ originates. He said fraud was very high, when in fact the amount was – and remains – negligible. This did not stop the Conservative-led DWP from instituting punitive measures against benefit claimants, ostensibly to minimise a problem that involved less than one per cent of claimants.

His list of misdemeanours is long, and some of the others are detailed in the articles mentioned below.

Are we to witness a long-overdue sacking, perhaps?

Further reading:

Let’s make abuse of power a crime and Lord Freud the first to be prosecuted

Bedroom tax decision: So Cameron has committed contempt of Parliament too – Bedroom Tax architect Lord Freud lives in an eight-bedroom mansion

Was political propaganda as blatant as this under Labour? – The ‘Claimant Commitment’

Turncoat Tory’s blue-sky talk can’t hide the damning truth – Welfare policies are pushing wages down

Is this the DWP’s latest statistics fix? – The benefit cap

UK government refuses to accept responsibility for crimes against humanity

‘In Memory of My Pop a WWI Soldier, who Fought for Honesty and Freedom’ – Cumulative impact assessment of welfare ‘reforms’ on benefit claimants is impossible, according to Freud.

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