Tag Archives: lost

Muslims across the UK have ‘no confidence’ in Keir Starmer after he supported Israel

Keir Starmer: his unthinking support for Israel may have torpedoed his electoral chances in the UK.

This should be self-explanatory:

The statement includes the following: “The letter conveys a clear and powerful message: the Muslim community in the UK has lost confidence in Keir Starmer as the Leader of the Labour Party due to his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It explicitly states that the Muslim community will no longer vote for the Labour Party if Keir Starmer remains in his leadership position without a substantial change in his approach to this conflict.”

It follows Keir Starmer’s comments as Labour leader last week, that Israel not only has the right to defend itself against attack from groups like Hamas, but that it may also cut off food, water and energy to Gaza – and the 2.2 million innocent people therein, half of whom are children – as part of its efforts to do so. These are war crimes.

Here’s a recording of him saying it, along with a comment pointing out the problem with his words:

Would you like further clarification?

Labour subsequently provided a briefing to party representatives, detailing what they should say, if asked. It features all the phrases we’ve heard so many times already: “Israel has the right to defend itself… international law must be upheld.”

In fact it stops short of “full-throated support for Israeli war crimes and contempt for Palestinian lives”, as Karl Hansen describes it below. But…

… nor does it accept that Israel’s responses have been war crimes. The document merely repeats ad nauseum the line about its right to defend itself.

This explains much of Labour’s output since the conflict started; MPs and representatives have been singing from this hymn sheet, terrified of providing an honest opinion.

That’s probably why British Muslims are so utterly appalled and outraged.

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Muslim party members and councillors have been resigning ever since Starmer made his statement, citing Labour’s total lack of support for them and people of their ethnicity. Here’s the latest:

The first was Lubaba Khalid, formerly Young Labour’s BAME officer, on October 12.

Now it seems Labour bigwigs are going out to constituencies with large numbers of Muslims, trying to gauge the amount of damage Starmer has caused with his amateurish outburst:

And Starmer is apparently holding meetings to decide how to address the situation:

And what are the rest of us to make of this disaster?

Firstly: it could cost Labour the next general election. It only takes the lose of a few dozen votes – or a few hundred in more heavily Muslim-populated constituencies, and suddenly the party will be in deep trouble.

Secondly: it exposes Keir Starmer as a political idiot and raises significant doubts about his fitness to continue in his current role:

Do you agree?


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Is the DWP deliberately disallowing PIP claims by losing or delaying forms?

The problem with fighting the government to protect the vulnerable is that the government can keep attacking relentlessly.

Years ago, I ran a successful campaign that showed that thousands of people had died because the Department for Work and Pensions had denied them sickness benefits for no apparent reason.

It raised awareness that DWP decisions could be wrong and could be challenged, and I hope it saved a few lives.

Now, it seems the DWP has been quietly running a new scam – denying claims for the disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by claiming to have lost the forms, or falsely recording that they have arrived after the deadline for returning them has passed:

Up to 42,000 claimants had their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award stopped in 2021, an increase of almost 300% in just two years. 25,400 claims were disallowed in 2020. The figures were revealed by Tom Pursglove, DWP minister for disabled people, in response to a written parliamentary question.

The figures refer to people who allegedly failed to return their AR1 PIP review form but it is not known whether non-return includes forms that were returned late. It is also not clear how many people challenged the decision that they had failed to return their form on time.

Mr Pursglove’s response shows that the number of claims disallowed each year for non-return of the AR1 review form have increased steadily year on year since 2017, when there were 7,500 claims disallowed.

The DWP has come out with its usual flannel about helping millions of people every year – as though that is some kind of huge achievement and not its job.

It says only a small proportion of claimants are penalised for non-return of forms, as though 67,400 people in two years is a small number and not more people than live in entire towns the size of Taunton or Hereford.

I tend to agree with the website Benefits and Work, which has stated:

The number of claimants allegedly failing to return their forms seems to be far outstripping any rises in awards that had taken place at the time. We know that the DWP’s post handling and call management is dire and getting ever worse. It seems very possible that many disallowed claimants are returning their forms on time, but the DWP is either losing them or taking far too long before recording that they have been received.

“We have no way of knowing how many of the 42,000 claimants appealed or how many simply gave up in despair, even though they knew they had returned their form on time. Other claimants may have failed to return the review form because of the effects of a physical or mental health condition.”

The DWP reckons it ‘watermarks’ files on claimants with serious mental health or cognitive conditions who have difficulty communicating or engaging with the process as Additional Support (AS) – meaning they will be asked to attend a PIP assessment even if they fail to return their form.

And claimants who are identified or deemed as vulnerable – due to their circumstances, not just their condition – are watermarked ‘Additional Customer Support (ACS)’.

But I can’t help remember how Mrs Mike was ‘watermarked’ when she appealed against a decision to put her in the work-related activity group for Employment and Support Allowance. Her file was marked ‘Do Not Contact’, and we knew nothing about it until we were notified that her year on the benefit had expired and she was no longer entitled to it.

As is well-documented in previous articles on this site, I went through the roof and the government department backtracked rapidly. Mrs Mike is now in the support group, where she belongs.

So I have doubts about DWP ‘watermarking’ claims.

As far as lost or delayed forms are concerned, I recommend that anybody claiming benefits from the DWP make a copy of any forms they send, and post the forms using a system that requires a DWP representative to sign for them. This evidence can then be copied from the Royal Mail and used to show exactly when the DWP receives the forms.

Alternatively, if the DWP doesn’t receive the forms, claimants can get in touch, say their forms have been lost by the Royal Mail, and request a new set of forms and an extension to their deadline. The forms can then be duplicated, using the copies of the original that have already been made.

Does that seem fair? Does anybody with experience of the current system have any other ideas?

Source: DWP PIP warning with thousands of benefit claimants having payments stopped – Chronicle Live


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Labour suffers worst by-election result in party’s history. Will Starmer accept the blame?

What will be the excuse this time? Whatever Starmer says, the facts are clear: he has led Labour to its worst by-election result EVER. The party is on course for destruction under his leadership. If he stays, we’ll know that is what he wants.

Don’t think for a moment that the Liberal Democrats are on the rise again.

Ed Davey’s claim that his party’s victory in the Chesham and Amersham by-election means his party is now the main threat to the Tories in many areas is nothing but hot air.

No – the main shock of the by-election (triggered by the death of Tory Cheryl Gillan) is the collapse of support for the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Labour scraped together just 622 votes – that’s just 1.6 per cent of the votes cast, meaning the party even lost the £500 deposit it paid to take part.

It is the worst by-election result in Labour’s 121-year history.

Yes, turnout was lower than at a general election; yes, there may have been tactical voting to remove the Conservatives; and yes – Labour has never been in a position to win this particular Parliamentary seat.

But in general elections with turnout twice as high, Labour has historically won around 7,000-8,000 votes, with the 11,374 it received under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in 2017 its best result of all.

Once again, claims that Labour would do better with any leader other than Corbyn are destroyed.

And once again, Starmer will be looking to his Big Book of Excuses for a way to explain why he is dragging a once-great socialist party down to ruin in a mire of sub-Tory neoliberalism, focus group psychobabble and flag-waving.

Once again we see that the British public wants genuine, traditional (pre-Blair) policies and won’t be fooled by sharp haircuts, sharp suits, and vague announcements.

Labour is now in crisis. If Starmer continues as leader, he could drag the party down to destruction.

Source: Chesham and Amersham: Lib Dems overturn big Tory majority in by-election upset – BBC News

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Tory Brexit has decimated the UK’s financial industry – and YOU will suffer the consequences

This is UK money: enjoy the sight of it because it is currently being turned into Euros and we are never likely to see as much of it again – and you have Boris Johnson and his Conservatives to blame.

Wow. Boris Johnson’s insistence on his silly Brexit deal has meant the one industry in which the UK remained a world leader – finance, is falling.

More than 440 financial firms have shifted thousands of jobs and £1 trillion of assets out of the UK and into the EU because of Brexit.

That’s about 10 per cent of the total assets held by the UK banking system – meaning that our banks have been decimated, according to the classical definition of the term (decimation, in army terms, was the killing of one in every ten of a group of people as a punishment for the whole group).

And worse is to follow, according to research from the New Financial think tank.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal didn’t cover financial services, you see. He relied on “blue sky” daydreaming that a separate deal could be reached with the EU. This dream has turned into a nightmare with the EU refusing to give ground.

7,400 jobs have moved from the UK to the EU – and are not likely to be replaced.

And the UK is set to lose much of its £26 billion annual financial trade surplus, meaning the nation’s balance of payments (the difference between profits from exports and payments for imports) is likely to slip much deeper into the red.

It’s further evidence of a bizarre Tory policy – to give all of the UK’s business assets to foreign firms and governments.

The privatisation of UK industry – begun under the Thatcher governments and continuing to this day – has taken ownership of firms away from the general public and placed it mostly in the hands of foreign organisations.

Firms run by the governments of EU countries now run most of our railways, water services, and (I seem to recall) power supplies. Now our banking services are set to atrophy.

And of course, it will be ordinary working-class UK citizens like you and This Writer who will suffer.

Businesspeople always pass the consequences of their failures down. That’s why Tories have been able to persuade so many voters that pay rises for the workers are a bad idea – the bosses would not forgo their profits to support them but would hike their prices instead.

With less cash coming into the UK via the banks, the ultra-rich parasites will be looking for new ways to suck money out of us.

The result will be the impoverishment of the UK. We will be a once-great nation destroyed by political midgets with over-inflated opinions of themselves.

Source: Banks and insurers move £1 trillion of assets out of UK due to Brexit | The Independent

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Latest Tory failure: government has lost billions of pounds worth of PPE

Remember this? PPE was a tragic joke during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rishi Sunak later spent £15 billion to secure a supply of the equipment (after his boss Boris Johnson had sold it all off in the belief it wouldn’t be needed. And now the Tories have lost it.

This site’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic – or rather, the political tragedy that has accompanied it – has been patchy lately, I’ll admit.

But how can one keep up with the constant stream of inadequacy excreted from Downing Street, Whitehall and the Palace of Westminster, often at a rate of several times a day?

The constant barrage of blunders has put us all into a state of desensitised delirium in which it is hard to distinguish the important milestones from “Same Sh*t, Different Day”.

I read a message on Facebook that struck a chord:

“The seven-day rolling average of new Covid cases per day is down to ~15K… almost exactly where it was before the government relaxed the lockdown at the start of December. A relaxation, lest we forget, that scientists were *begging* the government not to do.

“And 55,000 people have died during that period.
“I am genuinely unable to comprehend the free ride this government is getting in the media, and the lack of outrage among the public.
55,000 people dead so Johnson could get a few “Boris saves Christmas” headlines… and he didn’t even do *that*.”
The statement attracted a comment that I thought was spot-on, too:

“The media side is easy – most papers are ferociously right wing and only turn on a Tory PM once they’ve got an alternative lined up and get the nod from the power brokers. Other news outlets just follow the agenda set by those papers, so there’s a huge swathe of stuff that never gets addressed.

“As for the public…I don’t know. I think we’re punchdrunk from five years of very intense bad shit happening, and a general sense of endtimes malaise. There are so many problems that have been around for so long that I think most have just given up trying to reconcile them, and that’s how you get shit like the “Boris is doing his best” excuses. We can’t get our head around it, and have stopped expecting our politicians to as well.
“I also think the pandemic stuff is so big, the death toll so outrageous, that it has become abstract. 100 people die in a disaster, we (as a society) can grasp that, we can picture it. Over 100,000 people die over the course of a year? It almost becomes invisible, even when it’s right in front of us.
“I’m trying very hard to be positive, but I can’t shake the feeling that we’re in the final spins of a very long cultural death spiral.”
Finally:
“I think we’ve become so numb to the constant exposure. It’s almost like the Government are trying their hardest to make us more apathetic with every wrong turn, u-turn, bullshit ppe fiasco and statements they have done everything they can, so when the next election comes they get a free ride and carry on. Why we’re not all buying pitch forks online is beyond me.”
It’s a good question, especially when you see the Tories failing yet again over a matter for which they have already been hammered in the press and condemned in the court of public opinion.
What the blazes are they doing, losing billions of pounds’ worth of personal protective equipment?

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.”

I seem to recall writing a few months ago that Boris Johnson actually sold off UK stockpiles of PPE before the pandemic arrived here, under the pretext that it wasn’t needed.

That’s how incompetent he and his Conservative Party really are.

As I write this, another 621 deaths over a 24-hour period have been revealed. That’s roughly equivalent to everybody on the Mid Wales estate where I live dying overnight.

The number of deaths overall – the real number rather than the sanitised figure you get from the government – is almost equivalent to the entire population of the county where I live (Powys).

An entire county, emptied because of Boris Johnson’s bone-headed stupidity.

And yet we’re not buying pitchforks and throwing them at Tories whenever we see them; we’re not setting fire to Tory property in an effort to erase their misrule from the face of the UK.

Why are we, as a nation, so apathetic? Why won’t we stand up for ourselves?

Source: UK government not sure where billions of pounds’ worth of PPE is | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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‘Lost control’ of Covid-19? When did Tory ministers have any control over the virus?

Rampant: the Covid-19 virus is once again on the loose across the UK because the Tories haven’t just lost control; they’ve deliberately thrown it away.

Let’s be honest: Covid-19 infections in the UK are skyrocketing again and there’s nothing the Tory government can do about it.

Monday (September 7) was the second day running that nearly 3,000 new infections were recorded – and remember, that’s only among people who have been tested and the number of tests available are limited. Allow me to demonstrate:

Professor Gabriel Scally, a member of the Independent Sage group and a former NHS regional director of public health for the south-west, reckons that government ministers have “lost control of the virus”.

“It’s no longer small outbreaks they can stamp on,” he told The Guardian. “It’s become endemic in our poorest communities and this is the result. It’s extraordinarily worrying when schools are opening and universities are going to be going back.”

But it should be obvious that the Tories haven’t got any control at all.

They might have had some when the lockdown was in force but those days are long gone. It seems increasingly likely that lockdown was only imposed to keep on the right side of public opinion and the real plan was “herd immunity”.

This is the idea that if enough of us develop antibodies to the disease, its effect will be negligible. But “herd immunity” requires a majority of the population to be vaccinated against a disease and there is no vaccine.

Allowing a majority to become infected merely increases the likelihood of unnecessary deaths.

The number of infections started rising as soon as the first lockdown relaxations happened and it seems to This Writer that the exponential rise now may be partially due to schools returning…

Sickness Secretary Matt Hancock is trying to push responsibility for curbing the virus onto young people –

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1303062692471672832

– but it’s nothing to do with them and everything to do with him.

That’s because the situation is worse than I suggested in the headline.

Not only did the Tories not have control over Covid-19 infections – they have deliberately avoided it.

Source: Coronavirus: Ministers have ‘lost control of the virus’, says health expert following spike in cases | Independent

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Coronavirus tests lost, unpaid volunteers hired to work on them – and the Tories STILL miss targets!

The UK’s Tory government has lost control of the coronavirus testing process.

First, the Tories lost thousands of tests that they had handed over to private companies. Here’s the Health Service Journal:

Data on the outcome of tens of thousands of tests carried out outside the NHS is ‘disappearing into a data black hole’, making it harder for local organisations to respond to the spread of coronavirus in their area.

An internal NHS update email seen by HSJ, which is meant to tell local organisations how many residents and staff in their areas have tested positive, states that full information is “increasingly becoming unavailable” and cannot be reported “until further notice”.

Instead the reporting is based only on NHS lab tests, which make up less than half of total tests now being carried out, a proportion which is still shrinking further.

Why would any government hand over vital work to a private firm that simply isn’t up to the job?

Oh yes – they’re Tories.

They are ideologically inclined to give work to privateers, which is why Boots – we’re told – is now recruiting volunteers to carry out this work for no pay, as The Independent reports:

An army of unpaid volunteers is being recruited to carry out coronavirus tests across the country as ministers try to hit their target of 200,000 a day.

They are being asked to sign up to work at least 32 hours a week, swabbing the noses and throats of people who may be infected, for no pay.

The high-street chemist Boots is advertising the roles across the country, with the support of ministers.

And the upshot?

The Tories haven’t hit their 100,000-a-day test target, let alone the intended 200,000-a-day by the end of May.

Worse: as the information from the tests is being lost, local areas will be handicapped in their attempts to treat people with the disease because they simply won’t know who those people are or where to concentrate their efforts.

And Tory dogma means this situation can only get worse.

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140,000 retail jobs lost in worst year for quarter of a century. That’s Tory government for you

Pretty soon, high street shopfronts will be no use as anything other than sheltering spots for homeless people.

So much for the party of business.

Guess what I’m going to say?

That’s right: 14 million Tories voted to flush our shops down the sewer.

Let’s sit back and watch…

… as Boris Johnson does nothing about it apart from talk out of his clacker.

More than 140,000 jobs on UK high streets have been axed in the past year, new figures suggest.

2019 has proved the worst year for high street employment levels in a quarter of a century, according to a report by the the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

More than 16,000 stores shut their doors for good over the course of the year, the new data shows.

The CRR said job losses had leapt by more than a fifth over the past 12 months compared to the previous year.

It warned the year ahead could see an even more dire outlook for traditional retail stores and jobs.

The majority of job losses, around 78,600, came as part of store closures by retailers cutting costs, as the growth of online shopping and high fixed costs of bricks-and-mortar stores took a heavy toll.

Source: 140,000 retail jobs lost in worst year for quarter of a century

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Labour vows to help women affected by pension age changes after court lets them down

The Labour Party it will do what it can to compensate the so-called ‘WASPI’ protesters – Women Against State Pension Inequality – after the High Court ruled that the government had not discriminated against them on grounds of age and/or sex.

The government has implemented changes to the pension age for women, in order to equalise it with that for men, in a move that affected nearly four million women who were born in the 1950s – some became homeless as a result and many became suicidal.

They said not enough was done to publicise the changes and to ensure that those affected would be ready.

The UN committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has said the rise in the pension age has added to “poverty, homelessness and financial hardship among the affected women”.

“The 1950s women helped build Britain and were let down by the government’s pension changes. They will understandably be very disappointed by today’s finding,” said shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey.

“Labour has already made commitments to support women affected, including by extending Pension Credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women. We will consult further with the 1950s women affected as to what future support we can put in place once in government to help ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age.”

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the women affected, added: “They have pushed women who were already disadvantaged into the lowest class you can imagine.

“They’re on the brink of survival, and I’m not overstating that. This group – especially the percentage of the group affected born in 1953 onwards – are increasingly having taken away from them four to six years’ worth of state pension. We’re dealing with very serious sums: £37,000 to £47,000. I think any citizen would be concerned by that withdrawal.”

In a summary of the court’s decision, Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said their hands were tied: “The court was saddened by the stories contained in the claimants’ evidence. But the court’s role was limited. There was no basis for concluding that the policy choices reflected in the legislation were not open to government. In any event they were approved by Parliament.

“The wider issues raised by the claimants about whether the choices were right or wrong or good or bad were not for the court. They were for members of the public and their elected representatives.”

In fact, it seems the only person happy about the verdict was Boris Johnsons spokesperson, who crowed that it has “always been our view” the changes made were “entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds”.

“Government decided in 1995 it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality,” the spokesperson said. “Today the court recognised the extensive communications that the Department for Work and Pensions made to publicise these changes over many years.”

Did it?

It seems clear that there’s only one way these pensioners are going to get compensation for this decision – made by a Tory government in 1995 and implemented by a Tory government in 2010:

Elect a Labour government.

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It’s a Tory total collapse as they are forced to accept every Labour amendment to the Budget

Labour could have moved that the Treasury be re-named “Philip Hammond is a dunce” and the government would probably have agreed to it.

Too harsh? Well, let’s be satisfied with the amendments to the Finance Bill on tax evasion, gaming duty and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – and with the promise that there is worse to follow for Theresa May and her cronies.

She had to capitulate because, if a vote had been taken and she lost, it would have been considered proof that her government does not have the confidence of the Commons. By convention, any government in such a position should resign and allow the main Opposition party a chance to form an administration.

Instead, Mrs May is now the head of a minority government, critically vulnerable to collapse if the Opposition parties demand a vote of “no confidence”, because the Democratic Unionist Party has withdrawn its support over her disastrous Brexit agreement with the EU.

As Mrs May is determined to have her deal or no deal, and the DUP’s MPs believe neither will support what they consider to be good for Northern Ireland, it seems unlikely that they will restore their support for her government.

I predict that if the current Brexit deal goes to a vote, Mrs May will lose badly. Labour may then demand a vote of “no confidence” in the Conservative Party’s ability to govern – and such a vote seems certain to topple the government.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was quick to capitalise on the situation. He said: “It’s absolutely staggering that the Government has accepted all Labour amendments to the Finance Bill because it couldn’t rely upon the DUP’s support. The Tories are in office but not in power. We’re watching a government falling apart in front of us.”

Mrs May is currently in Brussels, where she is probably begging the Eurocrats for latitude to resolve the impossible situation into which she has put herself – because we should all remember that this is a crisis entirely of the Conservative government’s own making.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond are both set to appear at the DUP’s conference over the weekend. If they think they can bully the Irish into backing them again, they’ll be in for a shock.

It has been great fun watching the drama play out on Twitter:

So the current situation can be summed up as follows:

https://twitter.com/MsParaDoxy/status/1064673997974065152

Of course we now know that Mrs May’s strings are being pulled by the Opposition parties – and any opportunity available (to mention the backdrop sign at the Tory conference) will be theirs.

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