Tag Archives: Liz

Nazanin’s husband goes on hunger strike for second time, due to Tory inaction

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this image is now many years old. Is she still able to smile?

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gone on hunger strike for a second time in two years.

He’s hoping to push the Tory government out of its current “couldn’t care less” attitude and into renewed efforts to bring her home.

Here’s the story:

Richard Ratcliffe will sleep in a tent outside the Foreign Office in London after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran last week.

He said the UK government’s strategy was “broken”, adding: “It does feel like a policy of waiting and we can’t wait forever.

“I had a conversation with the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, to ask her what she was going to do and she still said, well we are going to talk to the Iranians and there will be consequences if Nazanin goes back. That’s too late.

“Hunger strike is an extreme act and it’s always a bit precarious at the beginning,” he told Sky News.

He continued: “I have to say, I thought that would be a unique experience and that when the prime minister came into office he would resolve our case and keep his word.”

Mr Ratcliffe’s Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted in his support – with similarly harsh criticism of the Conservative government:

This Site has been covering Nazanin’s story since Boris Johnson’s initial – disastrous – intervention and it is well worth covering the saga of Tory government ineptitude that has progressed since then:

The case was brought to the UK’s Foreign Secretary – at the time, Boris Johnson – in November 2017. And the first thing he did was make the situation worse.

He said Nazanin had been arrested because she had been “teaching journalism”. In fact, that was the reason for her arrest – a reason that she denies (the Iranian authorities related it to activism against the state).

He later tried to claim that his words had not been clear and he had meant even if she had been teaching journalism, that would not have justified her arrest. But this was not true – one of many lies he has spoken on his way to the top.

The Iranian authorities said they would use Johnson’s words against Nazanin, but he refused to apologise for worsening the situation.

Next it was rumoured that Johnson was going to pay Iran £450 million owed to that country but unpaid due to international sanctions, in return for Nazanin’s freedom…

Then it was said that he had put the brakes on that scheme for fear of upsetting US President Trump.

Nazanin went on hunger strike. While she starved, Johnson (now prime minister) was working on his suntan, on the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

She appeared in court on March 14 this year, on a new charge of propaganda against the regime – apparently based on allegations that she took part in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in London 12 years ago and gave an interview to the BBC Persian service.

She was later sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Mr Ratcliffe now believes that Nazanin is a pawn in negotiations over the £400 million+ owed by the UK to Iran. The current issue seems to be about interest payable on the debt. Johnson doesn’t want to pay the figure demanded by Iran, one expects.

This Writer’s opinion is that Johnson doesn’t care what happens to Nazanin – he’d rather keep the cash. That’s a very odd way to behave, when one considers all the money he has splashed around to Tory donors and friends during the Covid-19 crisis.

But then, this is a man who (allegedly) said of Covid, “Let the bodies pile up in their thousands” – and they have. And now he is inflicting cholera on us all by allowing foreign-owned privatised water firms to dump raw sewage in our rivers.

With a prime minister responsible for that scale of barbarity, how could anybody expect him to lift a finger for one dual-nationality woman?

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Husband on hunger strike outside Foreign Office for second time in two years | UK News | Sky News

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A quick note about Liz Truss

Liz Truss: the queen of cheese may prove even more clueless than Raab.

You may have heard a lot of commentary from broadcasters you trust, claiming that Liz Truss’s promotion from Trade to the Foreign Office shows she is a capable politician, a rising star and a possible Tory leadership contender.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reason she was promoted has nothing to do with her abilities. It happened because the tiny readership of Tory blog ConservativeHome have voted her as their favourite Tory Cabinet member in a regular poll.

I mean to say: do you really think she got it for doing a trade deal in which she’ll send cheese to lactose-intolerant Japan?

Or, for that matter, for this:

Still, the comedy value should be terrific because we’ll get to watch the mouse-brained Queen of Cheese kick up a stink across the world. Just try not to take it personally when people from foreign countries point at you and laugh.

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Ian Botham as trade envoy – who next? Some ideas from the public

Michael Gove and Liz Truss: would it surprise anyone if she really did make him trade envoy to Columbia?

Was former cricketer Lord Botham made trade envoy to Australia because of his adversarial sporting relationship with that country’s representatives?

If so, then the people of the UK have come up with a few other ideas about the people vacant-eyed cheese-monger Liz Truss may be appointing to similar roles – and comment on how Botham is doing.

Here come the takedowns:

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Hurley snow pic puts Coffey’s ‘old and fat’ nonsense in perspective. But there’s just one thing…

Older and not fat: Liz Hurley (left) is six years older then Therese Coffey (49), who said people are dying of Covid-19 because they are elderly and obese. It seems the agism is all in the Work and Pensions Secretary’s mind. But there is another problem with the photo on the left.

Liz Hurley’s Instagram snow image puts Therese Coffey’s claim, that people die of Covid-19 because they are old and fat, well and truly in perspective.

Coffee is 49; Hurley 55. As the comparison image above shows, health is a matter of individual responsibility (unless there are underlying issues, I should concede for the sake of completeness. I don’t think Coffey has any underlying issues).

Before Coffey criticises other people, it seems clear she should try to set an example herself.

However, there is one problem with the Hurley image:

Put more directly:

Ultimately, the only conclusion we can draw from the behaviour of both of these people is that being over-rich and over-privileged makes people strange.

Their attitudes are not normal but they get away with their behaviour because of their elite status.

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Liz Truss is Tories’ choice as most popular Cabinet member. Really? From doing deals with Macedonia?

Truss up: the queen of cheese is now queen of the Cabinet. Why? Seriously. WHY?

The mouse-brained queen of cheese, Liz Truss, has been voted most popular Cabinet member by Conservative-voting readers of the ConservativeHome website.

I mean, obviously there’s very little competition, but, really? Liz Truss?

This is the woman who got so aggravated about cheese, she’ll never live it down:

She went on to forge a trade deal with Japan that, even in September when it was signed, was ridiculed for selling Stilton to a nation of people who are lactose intolerant.

Then in November, the deal unravelled altogether. Truss had claimed “strong tariff reductions on key agricultural products like pork, beef and salmon [that] will benefit farmers and food exporters”.

But a study by the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at the University of Sussex found that just 10 of 9,444 products will enjoy lower taxes.

They include birds’ eggs, raw hides, fur skins, handbags and ultra-strong spirits of at least 90 per cent alcohol – none of which are exported to Japan by the UK, meaning the study found the gain to UK exporters is zero.

Now she’s celebrating a deal with North Macedonia. Is it too early for the wheels to come off that wagon?

Apparently it isn’t.

In fact, I hope people in Macedonia don’t take offence at the next comment:

She is utterly incapable and a danger to the well-being of the people of the UK.

What does it say about her Cabinet colleagues that Tories find her the most appealing member of that group?

Over to you, Twitter…

Here’s the last word:

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The stupidity of Liz Truss: who elected these Tories, and are they brave enough to admit it?

Liz Truss: as a trade negotiator she is a blithering imbecile with no redeeming features whatsoever. And that is being charitable!

Back in December 2019, enough people in the UK thought the Conservatives should be trusted to run the country that they gained a Parliamentary majority of 80 seats.

Since then, it seems everything Boris Johnson’s government has done has proved those Conservative voters wrong.

The latest revelation about International Trade Secretary Liz Truss only hammers this point further home – and it relates to Brexit, the subject on which Johnson won his election.

More people voted Conservative because they wanted the UK to leave the European Union and forge its own future by striking advantageous trade deals with other countries. Right?

Truss cut the first such deal with Japan in September, trumpeting “strong tariff reductions on key agricultural products like pork, beef and salmon [that] will benefit farmers and food exporters”.

However, a study by the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at the University of Sussex has found that just 10 of 9,444 products will enjoy lower taxes.

They include birds’ eggs, raw hides, fur skins, handbags and ultra-strong spirits of at least 90 per cent alcohol – none of which are exported to Japan by the UK, meaning the study found the gain to UK exporters is zero.

Other changes trumpeted by Truss include “cutting-edge digital and data provisions” that are nothing of the sort.

And she claimed a boost to trade with Japan that would be worth £15.7bn over the next 15 years – but that is in comparison with no deal, not with the EU deal that the UK is giving up, due to Brexit.

And 83 per cent of the gains go to Japanese exporters, with the UK’s getting just 17 per cent.

In fairness, the negotiators have managed to avoid the large increases in tariffs that would have been suffered if the UK had gone back to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

But that is not what Johnson and all the other rabid Brexiters promised us when we voted on leaving the EU, back in 2016.

They promised us vast improvements in the prices we would get for our goods – and that’s what Truss tried to claim she had got for us.

They all lied. They failed. They are stupid – possibly the stupidest gang of dimwits ever to infest Whitehall.

And they think we’re stupid enough to let them carry on inflicting their stupidities on us into the future.

Let’s hope they get that wrong, too.

Source: Brexit: Liz Truss secures tariff wins with her Japan trade deal – for products UK doesn’t export | The Independent

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Cheese queen Truss trumpets free trade deal with Japan, selling Stilton to people who are lactose-intolerant

Liz Truss: the queen of cheese, who once warned that Brexit would seriously harm the UK, is now proving it with a duff free-trade deal with Japan. It’s no different from the deal we had as part of the EU, but with added Stilton.

Liz Trust can’t get away from cheese, can she?

The International Trade minister has just announced a brand-new post-Brexit free trade deal with Japan. Hooray!

But didn’t we already have a free trade deal with Japan?

Yes. Yes we did.

But this one has added Stilton cheese!

Let’s review Liz Truss and her association with cheese:

Well, at least now she’s talking about exporting it…

… to a country where most people can’t eat it – and a country where nobody eats Stilton at all:

So Japan has given us the same free trade deal we had as part of the EU, with added Stilton cheese. Not much of a victory, is it?

These people certainly don’t think so:

Oh and wait for it… here comes the punchline…

This is only an agreement in principle; the Japanese haven’t signed the deal yet. In other words, the Stilton may yet come off the (cheese) board.

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was 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.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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How UKIP became pawns in a new plan to bring back fox hunting

The hunt is on (possibly): Nigel Farage shaking hands with Surrey hunter Mark Bycroft, who had freely admitted punching a protester in the face, with no warning or provocation, at a hunt meet on December 14, 2013.*

The hunt is on (possibly): Nigel Farage shaking hands with Surrey hunter Mark Bycroft, who had freely admitted punching a protester in the face, with no warning or provocation, at a hunt meet on December 14, 2013.*

It seems UKIP is again pushing the Conservative Party further into the right-wing of politics.

This time, the subject of fox-hunting is rearing its bloodstained head once again. The first Yr Obdt Srvt heard of it was in an email from Vox Political‘s alleged masters in the Labour Party.

It begins: “Did you hear what Liz Truss – the Tory Environment Secretary – announced was top of her priority list last week?”

Bringing back fox hunting. That’s right – instead of sorting out the mess they’ve made of our country, the Tories are fixating yet again on overturning the decade-old ban on this brutal bloodsport.

“Let’s make so much noise that the Tories have to leave fox hunting in the dustbin of history. There is so much that the Tories should be doing right now that would make life better for millions of people in our county. Doesn’t it just speak volumes that they’re choosing to obsess over this instead?

“Labour consigned fox hunting to the history books – and that’s where it belongs. Help us keep it there.”

This is followed by a link to a petition against the proposal which also asks the reader to make a donation to Labour. It is a particularly annoying practice of the party at the moment; admittedly, Labour needs cash to campaign, but tricking people into connecting to a donation site by telling them they’re doing something else… that’s not the way forward.

So if anybody has a link to a petition page that doesn’t want your money as well, please get in touch.

That was the story, and it all seemed cut-and-dried, right? Wrong.

Several hours later, a blog article by the ever-engaging John D Turner provided invaluable information about UKIP’s part in this affair.

It seems the Country Land and Business Association (described here as a sort of trade union for the landed establishment – a description that is both apposite and insulting at the same time because these people wouldn’t want to be seen dead in a union) has been lobbying both UKIP and the Tories for the return of foxhunting.

It was later reported that UKIP could benefit from half a million extra votes if the Tories refuse to commit themselves to repealing the Hunting Act, implying that UKIP supports this move already.

That was in August; Elizabeth Truss came out with her announcement a little more than a month later.

This tells us several things:

Firstly, UKIP may be many things but it absolutely is not the party of the “people’s crusade”, or whatever nonsense its representatives were spouting during the European election campaign. It’s pretty much a ‘given’ that Nigel Farage’s hope for the blue collar vote started to evaporate when he revealed UKIP’s tax plan was to give all the money to the extremely rich, and disappeared altogether when the Conservatives announced an even more regressive policy in response.

Secondly, UKIP is quite happy to be the pawn of rich landowners.

Thirdly, the Conservatives are terrified that UKIP may be able to steal away their support, and this means they will copy any UKIP policy in a desperate attempt to be more like UKIP than UKIP. Anyone in the Labour Party who finds this funny should look at the economic policy currently being promoted by Ed Balls, and remember Rachel Reeves’ ‘tougher than the Tories on welfare’ speech, before trying to make political headway on it.

The practical upshot of all this?

In this renewed right-wing attempt to bring back fox-hunting, it seems UKIP have been cast in the role of fat, red-coated, “Tally ho!”-screaming hunters…

… and the Conservatives – how unusual for them! – in the role of the fearful fox.

* Here’s the story. Scroll down the page to the entry for December 27, 2013 (it has the same image as at the top of this article).

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