Tag Archives: lorry

Did Johnson lock us down because he expects a riot?

Sound and fury: but the 2011 riots signified nothing. The government of the day suffered absolutely no harm at all from all the burning and looting that people inflicted on each other.

Apparently it’s called multiple discovery.

At the moment, many people across the UK are discovering the idea that a good way to respond to the absolute, unforgivable uselessness of Boris Johnson and his entire Conservative government – on Covid-19, on Brexit, and – let’s face it – on every other policy they have touched with their soiled Tory hands…

… is to riot.

Silly, silly people.

Don’t get me wrong. Considering the circumstances, rioting might be thought to be a reasonable reaction.

But I was having this conversation with a very good friend of mine recently, and had to point out that Johnson and his mobster mates won’t give a fig if a riot happens, because they know the rioters won’t target anything that could possibly make a difference.

Look at the riots in 2011. What happened?

A lot of people took to the streets and caused a lot of damage – to shops, to public property, and to other people.

They didn’t cause any harm at all to the people or institutions they blamed for harming them – by which I mean David Cameron and the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government of the day.

None at all.

As I said to my friend, if I was going to riot, the first thing I’d do would be to ensure that the police could not get their people and vehicles out of their stations to put down the public expression of unrest.

I don’t know how to do this, so we’re already talking academically, rather than practically.

The next thing I’d do would be to target seats of government; bring down the systems they use to inflict their idiocy on the rest of us.

The last thing I would do is target the homes and persons – in London and/or in the wider UK – of particular politicians I would hold responsible for the wholesale harm being done to thousands of ordinary people in the UK every week.

I wouldn’t go near my fellow citizens who are also suffering, their property, and/or the means by which they earn their living.

That would be equivalent to self-harm.

But it is always the first resort of the rioter.

Still, right after I had this conversation, I found the following on Twitter:

(Implying that the UK should by on fire right now.)

It’s a good point. Johnson’s latest wheeze has been to prompt foreign countries into closing their borders to anybody coming from the UK. They say he has turned the country into a “Plague Island” (and they’re not wrong).

This means international hauliers have been stopped at the country’s borders and are now backing up along the UK’s roads and motorways.

Not only has the supply chain seized up…

… but there is an urgent health risk to the drivers themselves, who have no direct access to food, toilets or washing facilities.

Johnson simply didn’t think of these things before he announced to us all that his failures had laid the UK prey to a new, more virulent variant of Covid-19. He and his advisers are too stupid to understand the implications of their decisions.

Here’s another good point:

In fact, it seems there is no outlet for the public to express our dissatisfaction with the way the government we elected has disgraced itself.

The mainstream media might broadcast interviews with people saying Johnson and his cronies have let us down but if our failed prime minister ever sees them, he’ll just laugh; people shouting at a camera can’t hurt him and they certainly won’t stop him.

He can ignore petitions.

Parliament is in recess for Christmas and he’s resisting demands for it to be recalled. He likes to do his business without democratic oversight, remember.

So what can you do?

Yeah, we can crack.

We can fall into a vortex of “loneliness, depression and anxiety”.

Believe me, Boris Johnson would be delighted by that result!

If you’re disgusted with everything he has done, you probably won’t want to please him in this way.

So the question arises:

What are you going to do?

It’s Christmas. You’re on a break. There’s a bit of time for you to make a decision.

Better make it a good one.

Because if it isn’t…

You may never see another Christmas.

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Boris Johnson’s Lie of the Day: he never cut the number of lorries queuing in Kent


Why does he do it?

In his latest car-crash (please don’t groan) TV press conference, Boris Johnson told us that he had taken action to reduce the number of lorries queuing in Kent to be transported to continental Europe, as both the UK and the EU prepare for new trading conditions from January.

Oh, really?

What are all these, then?

Those of you who saw the broadcast might be saying, “Ah, but! Johnson was referring to lorries on the M20 – and that’s some airport runway, from the look of it!”

Yes indeed. These appear to be the overspill from the M20 – lorries that have been diverted to park elsewhere.

But it doesn’t mean that Johnson wasn’t misleading us. Oh, and let’s make it clear – it’s Boris Johnson who made the misleading statement (this for the benefit of the BBC):

For clarity:

The tailback was precipitated by Johnson’s (him again!) announcement on Saturday (December 19) that he was cancelling a planned relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions for Christmas because of the unexpected virulence of a new mutation of the virus – a situation of which, it transpires, he has only been aware for four months (since late September).

The international response from around 40 countries now has been to close their borders to any and all traffic to and from the UK – hence the queue in Kent.

Why did Johnson lie?

Well, that’s a very good question:

One aspect of this situation that isn’t being discussed by Johnson is the fact that he is creating a huge health risk by failing to provide emergency food and sanitation facilities for more than a thousand stranded lorry drivers:

Isn’t Johnson begging for a new outbreak of Covid-19 – right there among the drivers – by failing to provide basic facilities for cleanliness?

He is responsible for this; it was his decision that created the situation.

I wonder how he will talk his way out of it.

With a lie, I expect…

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This unforgivable failure of judgement shows Priti Patel should not be a member of the government

Smug: Priti Patel seems to think she can say anything she likes about court cases and lawyers. Sadly, the failure of the authorities to punish her suggests that she is right. No wonder she often has that smug grin on her face.

An ill-advised tweet by Priti Patel – the UK’s Home Secretary, in charge of the country’s police service (but not, thankfully, justice) could have derailed a major criminal case, it has been revealed.

Four alleged people-smugglers have now been found guilty of manslaughter in the so-called Essex lorry deaths trial, after 39 people were found dead inside a lorry when it was inspected on its way into the UK from continental Europe.

On October 23, the anniversary of the tragedy, Priti Patel’s Twitter account posted: “One year ago today, 39 people lost their lives in horrific circumstances at the hands of ruthless criminals.

“My thoughts remain with everyone who was affected by that day, particularly the loved ones of the people who so tragically died.”

This public comment could have prejudiced the then-ongoing trial and for that reason was certainly in contempt of court.

Patel should have known this. In fact, This Writer finds it hard to believe that she didn’t.

Considering her other recent behaviour, it seems more likely that she thought she could get away with saying anything she liked – because she is a Conservative cabinet minister. Once again, it would be a case in which the Tories put themselves above the law.

According to The Mirror,

The post was retweeted and liked more than 300 times before it came to the attention of a defence lawyer and the trial was halted.

In the absence of the jury, Alisdair Williamson QC complained about the description of “ruthless criminals”, especially as she was a senior Government minister.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, did not authorise action against Patel but pointed out to jurors that many messages were likely to appear on the social media – and all should be ignored.

“It’s a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system that those on trial are presumed to be innocent until proven to be guilty and it is you and you alone who are going to decide whether they are guilty or not guilty.”

Quite right.

Patel had no right to suggest that anybody was a “ruthless criminal” until the jury came to a decision supporting such a claim.

But then, considering her other ill-advised tweets about “activist lawyers”, which led to at least one attack on a firm of solicitors, it seems clear that she believes herself to be above the rules that affect the rest of us.

Sadly, Mr Justice Sweeney’s lack of action against her, along with the failure of the police to act over the other matter, tends to prove her right.

Source: Priti Patel caused legal storm during Essex lorry migrant trial with ‘ill-advised’ tweet – Mirror Online

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Claims the ‘Farage Garage’ flooding story was a hoax… turn out to be a hoax

Farage’s legacy: this land is set to become a parking zone for 17,000 lorries.

We all had a laugh at the name given to a planned lorry park in Kent to accommodate expected customs delays following full Brexit on January 1 next year – right?

(If you’re not aware of this, skip back to this article and enjoy the references to the ‘Farage Garage’ and ‘Jacob Rees Bogs’.)

And yesterday we had a laugh at the following:

Then it seemed someone was having a laugh at us…

But it seems the story is accurate after all:

The story states:

Work on a huge post-Brexit lorry park is running behind schedule after heavy rain forced contractors to down tools.

The Department for Transport says it had to suspend construction of the 1,700-space facility in Ashford earlier this week “to manage surface water levels”.

Whether the site really does flood four times a year is not made clear, although it has clearly managed it once since construction started.

Thanks go to to Artemis (above) for the link to the Kent Online story.

And to the person who sent a snarky comment to This Site about “fake news” – perhaps you should do some research of your own before flinging wild accusations!

 

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Brexit will ruin the Garden of England; Brits respond in typical style

Farage’s legacy: it may not look like much now, but when it’s finished, this huge segment of the Garden of England will be a lorry park for 1,700 vehicles – the Farage Garage. The Jacob Rees-Bogs haven’t been installed yet.

This has been cracking me up since I first heard of it this morning (October 16) and I’m only sorry I had to wait until now to write an article about it.

It seems the practical upshot of Brexit is that Kent – also known as the Garden of England – is being bulldozed, in order to turn it into an enormous lorry park.

This is all being carried out by a political organisation that describes itself by the misnomer of “Conservatives”. What are they conserving, exactly?

British people, knowing that this is a result of the nation leaving the European Union, have dubbed the first such lorry park – set to hold 1,700 vehicles – the ‘Farage Garage.

Apparently the on-site toilets have been designated the ‘Jacob Rees-Bogs’.

Twitter has been gridlocked with it. See for yourself:

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Kexit: for the UK to leave the EU, it seems Kent must leave the UK. Spot the hypocrisy?

The UK’s new border: and the Tories can’t say it’s being imposed on us by anybody but them.

It’s all gone horribly wrong for Boris Johnson’s Brexit.

The government that decided to break international law – and threaten the peace in Northern Ireland – by overruling the Brexit plan to put an internal customs border – within the UK – in the Irish Sea…

… is self-imposing an internal border within the UK – where Kent meets Surrey.

That’s one example of Tory hypocrisy. Let’s see how many more we can find.

Here’s one: the new border means the party that said it would rid the UK of unwanted ‘red tape’ is burying itself under a new mountain of the stuff; Michael Gove is desperately trying to recruit a staggering 50,000 “customs agents” to help business prepare for it.

The measures are deemed necessary to prevent the creation of 7,000-long lorry queues and two-day waits to cross the Channel after the full force of Brexit hits us on January 1, 2021.

So:

Police will patrol the Kent border to turn away lorries without an “access permit”.

Officers will use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and “other means” to block drivers.

So it seems any trucker without these new travel passports will be arrested in what hauliers say is an attempt to shift blame for the looming disruption onto them (Tory hypocrisy number three).

The social media wits have really gone to town on this one (which is more than permit-less hauliers will be allowed to do) – using the new regulation to ridicule the attitudes of many jingoistic (Brexiteer) Brits:

Singled out for mockery is arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage:

They point out that the policy move is an insult to Scotland:

Speculation has been rife about the EU’s response:

It is, after all, particularly ironic:

But at least there is an oven-ready excuse for this additional border: Kent already has a Deal.

Source: Brexit: Police to stop lorries without permits entering Kent in new ‘internal border’ | The Independent

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Government should face corporate manslaughter charge after suicide verdict on Stephanie Bottrill

Victim of government persecution: A coroner has agreed that government pressure drove Stephanie Bottrill to suicide.

Victim of government persecution: A coroner has agreed that government pressure drove Stephanie Bottrill to suicide.

It’s official – stress and pressure caused by the Bedroom Tax pushed grandmother Stephanie Bottrill into taking her own life.

Zafar Siddique, coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, said he was “satisfied she intended to take her own life” after hearing evidence that Mrs Bottrill had blamed the government’s Bedroom Tax policy for pushing her to suicide in a note she left at her Meriden Drive, Kingshurst, home before walking across the M6 motorway into a collision with a lorry early on May 4, 2013.

The coroner also heard evidence from Dr Bindu Nair, who saw the former postal worker the day before her death after Mrs Bottrill’s daughter-in-law, concerned for her safety, made an appointment.

Dr Nair said Mrs Bottrill had “expressed unhappiness at being pushed by the housing department to make a decision, in half an hour, in reference to being made to move into a smaller property”.

He added that Ms Bottrill was “happy to move but it was the way in which she was forced to make a decision” which had caused her “considerable anxiety and stress”.

Unmentioned in the report is the fact that Mrs Bottrill was found to be exempt from the Bedroom Tax (also called the State Under-Occupation Charge) under the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2006, because she had been living at her address since before January 1996.

The implications for the government are enormous.

A British court has accepted that a government policy pushed a UK citizen into ending her life.

Organisations including government departments are guilty of corporate manslaughter if the way in which their activities are managed or organised causes a person’s death, and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased.

An organisation is guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised by its senior management is a substantial element in the breach.

The pressure placed on Mrs Bottrill, according to the evidence of her own doctor, caused “considerable anxiety and stress” that contributed to her decision to commit suicide.

It seems clear that the Department for Work and Pensions – as the organisation responsible for both the Bedroom Tax and the pressure placed on Mrs Bottrill by housing officers – must now face criminal charges under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

As far as this blog is concerned, responsibility for this woman’s death lies firmly with Iain Duncan Smith.

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Budget fever grows but is Gideon up to the task?

Cart crash: In line with the theme explored in this article, not only is it likely that George Osborne won't even have the right vehicle to carry his budget - he'll probably crash it, too.

Cart crash: In line with the theme explored in this article, not only is it likely that George Osborne won’t even have the right vehicle to carry his budget – he’ll probably crash it, too.

Part-time Chancellor Gideon George Osborne will be having another go at delivering a budget next week; while we can all hope he does better than the last four wrecks, experience – and a voodoo poll on the ConservativeHome website – suggests the opposite.

The poll asks readers to prioritise possible policies on a scale of one to 10, where one is “low” and 10 is “high”. The policies themselves?

“Cut spending further, so that the deficit can be reduced faster”. Clearly this is nonsense. Osborne’s massive spending cuts have, so far, delivered tiny reduction in the national deficit of only £7 billion – from £118 billion to £111 billion. In four years. Clearly, he needs to change his ways.

Other possibilities include cutting the higher rates of tax (or raising the threshold for them) – helping the very rich; extending National Insurance cuts for employers taking on young workers – helping employers; cutting business rates – helping businesspeople; and privatising more state assets, such as roads – helping rich investors and penalising the poor.

Other ideas intended to harm the poor include regionalising public sector pay, extending the freeze on public sector pay rises or cutting public sector pay, lowering the benefit cap to less than the current £26,000 per family and lowering a cap on broader social security spending that is yet to be introduced (it is scheduled for 2015).

All of the measures mentioned in the above two paragraphs will harm the British economy, rather than helping it. If Osborne includes any of them, he will deserve censure (if not prosecution, although it might be hard to find an offence on which to charge him after five years of Tory/Tory Democrat tinkering with the legal system).

By now, dear readers, some of you will be sitting with your blood boiling at this insolent blogger who’s telling you your prized policy ideas won’t work. You’re probably itching to demand what I would do to address the challenge.

I would have examined the economy from a different angle. Let’s look at it metaphorically.

Imagine the British economy is a haulage lorry or, better yet, a horse and cart. Tories are pushing us back towards pre-industrialism so we might as well get used to the idea. Either way, the job in hand is to take provisions to different parts of the locality that will allow the people there to prosper – and return with a share of that prosperity, to be distributed equally for the benefit of everyone.

Firstly, you need fuel. This is where we can prove that Osborne’s austerity is completely useless. How far can a lorry travel with an empty fuel tank? How far will a horse pull a cart if you don’t feed it? Not very far at all.

Then you need to make sure you’re providing the right kind of fuel. A diesel lorry won’t go far on petrol or vegetable oil before it starts to complain; give a horse the wrong kind of food and it will develop who-knows-what kind of digestion-related illness and keel over. This is what happens to an economy that is over-reliant on – for example – a single economy sector such as finance, or an economic ‘bubble’ like the housing growth triggered by Help to Buy (although this scheme could work well with the correct controls, in the same way you can probably keep a horse working with the correct medicine).

The result in both cases – no fuel or wrong fuel – is the same: Your supplies don’t get out to your people and they suffer as a result. The last four years of Tory/Tory Democrat rule has proved this.

In non-metaphorical terms: There must be investment, and it must be the right kind.

Then, of course, there is the question of what you have in the back of your lorry (or on the cart). You must be providing your people with what they need, otherwise there’s no point in making the journey and the fuel/food in which you have invested – in fact, the whole journey – will have been wasted (like Osborne’s last four budget attempts). Your choice of supplies will depend on what your people are doing – what crops they are growing or products they are making – and on whether these can be traded with your neighbours. If they have been misled into producing wares that can’t be traded, what good is that?

Get it right and you’ll be able to make a return trip laden with goods and supplies that will – with a bit of wise distribution and trade – help build up your society, meaning that the load might not be so great on the next trip. This means less fuel/horse feed will be needed and there won’t be as large a load in goods to be redistributed on the return journey (although an expanding economy means there might be farther to travel, so this must be recognised in the amount of fuel to be used).

That’s about as simple a metaphor as I can devise at the moment.

If I had to predict what will happen on Wednesday, though, I would probably expect Osborne to be demanding that we leave the lorry in the garage (or the horse in the yard), and struggle out on foot with all our burdens on our own back.

Not so much “all in it together” as “everyone for themselves” – and that’s how we’ll all be ruined.

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