Tag Archives: Mail

Boris Johnson’s Daily Mail column is breach of Ministerial Code

Boris Johnson: if I was feeling uncharitable, I might suggest he’s checking the Daily Mail’s website to see what he has written.

Can he do anything right?

Here’s the Artist Taxi Driver to brighten your day with the latest silliness from Boris Johnson:

A quick trip to the Guardian website (others are available; this was simply the first mentioned in the clip above) confirms the facts:

Boris Johnson committed a “clear breach” of rules on former ministers taking up new jobs by telling an appointments body he was becoming a Daily Mail columnist only half an hour before the public announcement, the watchdog has said.

The former prime minister was unveiled as a new writer for the newspaper, a platform he is expected to use to be a thorn in the side of Rishi Sunak.

However, Johnson has become embroiled in a fresh breach of the ministerial code after it emerged that he had waited until almost the last moment before the public announcement to inform the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba).

A spokesperson said: “The ministerial code states that ministers must ensure that no new appointments are announced, or taken up, before the committee has been able to provide its advice. An application received 30 minutes before an appointment is announced is a clear breach.

“We have written to Mr Johnson for an explanation and will publish correspondence in due course, in line with our policy of transparency.”

There seems to be a mistake in there, as Johnson isn’t a minister any more and hasn’t been one for around nine months now, but I think we’re safe to conclude that the restriction applies to former ministers as well.

Did Johnson intend to break the rules? I doubt it. He’s just not particularly bothered about them.

It’s what being a moneyed, privileged rich kid who was born with his head up his own proverbial rectum will do for a person.


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Rees-Mogg admitted ‘voter ID’ plan he supported was vote-rigging. Where are the calls for punishment?

Shifty: Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted ‘voter ID’ was vote-rigging – and failed. He should be punished – but some media outlets would rather misdirect you to something that hasn’t happened, and perhaps never will.

Don’t you find it strange that an alleged newspaper like the Daily Mail would drag readers’ attention – for two days’ running – to a rubbish Labour Party idea to give the vote to visitors from the EU…

… when a former Conservative minister has admitted that the Tory “voter ID” scheme was a genuine attempt to rig the vote.

Speaking at the National Conservatives’ conference (it makes perfect sense that he would be a Nat-C), Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

“Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.”

The local government elections in England earlier this month were the first at which people were required to bring photographic identification in order to cast a vote – and the electorate punished the Conservatives by taking 1,063 council seats away from them.

The admission is even more serious for Rees-Mogg because he argued in favour of “voter ID” in Parliament:

He must have known then that it was an attempt to gerrymander votes in the Conservatives’ favour – to rig elections. Mustn’t he?

Indeed, Labour’s Dawn Butler has said Rees-Mogg’s admission should be reported to the Parliamentary Standards Authority – or even to the police. The Electoral Commission is another option – although its current status as an arm of the Tory government makes it a poor third choice.

Yet the hard-right headbangers of the Daily Heil want you to concentrate on an idea mooted about by the Labour Party, that is unlikely ever to come to pass.

In light of the fact that election-rigging is a crime, I’ll leave it to you to work out why they might want to do that.


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Celebrities sue Daily Mail publisher for ‘appalling breaches of privacy’

I spotted this on a BBC News tickertape last night (October 6) but couldn’t find the story.

Fortunately I have now discovered this Twitter thread which lays it all out:

The newspaper company’s representatives can say what they like, but members of the public already have an opinion about this:

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The hypocrisy of the headlines in your lovable Tory papers

This clip speaks for itself.

Chunky Mark has been a laughing legend for years. His point about the hypocrisy of the Tory media’s headlines is well-made, I think.

Some of you may dislike his comments about certain Royals.

Here’s the clip:

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Is negative reporting from the right-wing press fueling assaults on Insulate Britain?

Ink today – what tomorrow? This 77-year-old ex-doctor is afraid of what the next member of the public will do to him and/or his colleagues – and papers like the Mail are egging on the attackers.

Yes, it’s annoying when your driving experience is disrupted by people who have superglued themselves to the road to draw attention to life-threatening issues including climate change – but that doesn’t justify assaulting them by throwing ink in their faces.

But here‘s the Daily Heil showing off its worst fascistic tendencies by venerating some music promoter for doing just that.

It seems

Andrew Dutton was filmed calmly walking along the line of the protestors sat in the middle of the road and spraying them with ink as they blocked traffic yesterday.

The 38-year-old from Harlow, Essex, who works with bands and arranges concerts, later told friends he lost his temper after asking the protestors to move from the A40 in North Acton, West London, to allow an emergency vehicle through – only for them to refuse and stay put.

I’m not buying that. Insulate Britain activists have a standing rule to let emergency vehicles through.

As Steve Gower said when This Writer interviewed him,

We’ve had accusations of not letting ambulances through. There’s footage – I’m in one of the clips actually, where we let an ambulance through. That is the policy of Insulate Britain – to let any blue light through our barricade.

The Mail‘s report shows footage of Dutton assaulting the protesters with the ink – with not a single emergency vehicle in sight. So I have a couple of doubts about the claim made about him (it turns out his friends told the right-wing rag about the alleged ambulance, not him).

The piece is highly supportive of the aggressor. Besides the ambulance allegation, it said his friends had hailed him as a “hero” and the protesters – who want better insulation for social housing, to stop people from dying of the cold in their own homes and to help tackle climate change – as an “eco mob”.

The result is that these people are scared. This tweet, and the embedded video, sums up the situation:

We’ve recently seen footage of a woman who tried to run over Insulate Britain activists in her Range Rover because she wanted to drive her son to school. Commenters have questioned why he couldn’t walk.

The hypocrisy is palpable. Only days ago, politicians were calling for “respect” and for people to stop fuelling the kind of “hatred” that led to the death of Tory MP Sir David Amess.

After Tory MPs were criticised for letting water companies pump raw human waste into our rivers and other waterways, they whinged – falsely – that they were being attacked with hate speech.

But when people are confronted by someone with a cause to promote, suddenly it’s okay to roll a Range Rover over them or spray ink into their eyes?

That is the message the Mail is putting out.

And the Tories must be delighted because once again, they have succeeded in getting people to squabble with others instead of casting a critical eye over the many faults of our (Tory) government.

The protesters involved are afraid – but they aren’t going to stop because they know people have already died because they lived in badly-insulated homes and they know that it will happen to others if they don’t succeed in prodding the government to act.

The – video – evidence shows they are right to be afraid.

What happens if one of them ends up suffering serious injury? What if, next time, it’s – well, I’m not going to put ideas in the heads of the irresponsible.

Will the reporter who penned the Mail piece turn himself in for possibly having incited it?

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DWP tries to blame Royal Mail for PIP delays but do we believe it?

It’s a sad consequence of having to fight a court case that I don’t have as much time for some of the subjects that made This Site’s name – such as the persecution of benefit claimants by the DWP.

This particular issue is one on which I have personal experience, though – as, I dare say, has anybody who has had to deal with DWP letters.

My case differs from that outlined by Disability News Service, though – in that the DWP contacted Mrs Mike to tell her that her PIP review was due, and could she return the form within a month of the date of the letter?

The letter arrived no less than 10 days after the date on it. That left three weeks to get the review done.

It is not enough time. Not only do PIP claimants have to navigate the form, which is worded in an open way but which is marked according to very specific requirements, but they must also seek corroborating evidence from carers, community helpers and healthcare professionals.

All of this takes considerable time.

As her carer, I knew that we needed to seek expert help in writing the form, so I contacted Citizens Advice and was immediately told that I would have an appointment to talk to someone in a few days’ time – and that I should seek an extension on the deadline at once.

I can’t say that conditions are the same across the UK – I live in Wales – but once I managed to get through to DWP (there was an inevitable wait of more than an hour) the department could not have been happier to extend the deadline.

I think I was given a couple of extra weeks.

I therefore advise everybody to do this – especially if receiving a letter with a deadline that appears to have been delayed in the post. It makes the argument between DWP and the Royal Mail irrelevant.

And I needed the extra time. Mrs Mike has a condition that can only get worse, but it wasn’t until I spoke to somebody else about it that I realised the extent to which her condition had degenerated.

Help I had provided as a favour when she was feeling particularly bad had become a habit – meaning that he condition has worsened – and the very shape of our days had changed as these accumulated.

The changes had been so gradual that I had not taken them into account – but they mean a great deal when dealing with the DWP.

I therefore advise everybody going through a benefit review to seek expert help from Citizens Advice or an organisation that is similarly qualified.

Finally there was the question of corroborating evidence. I provided a letter, as Mrs Mike’s carer, describing the obstacles she faces getting through the day, and the ways I have to help her.

We sought letters from community organisations and some professionals but received no interest in return.

And we contacted Mrs Mike’s doctor, too. This seemed likely to be problematic. “Oh, you’ll get no help there,” people said. “Doctors have been discouraged and disincentivised by the DWP! If you do get a letter, they’ll charge you a fat wad of cash!”

Not a bit of it was true.

We received a letter in due course, containing a printout of Mrs Mike’s medical history and a medical opinion that was adamantly in favour of her receiving the highest degree of benefit available to her.

Finally, when it was time to post the completed form, I took it to the post office and paid extra to ensure that the DWP would have to sign for it, to confirm receipt.]

This is very important. I know from personal experience and the experience of others that the DWP finds it easy to claim non-receipt – as it did in the case of the claimant in the DNS story.

This cannot happen if you have evidence that somebody signed for it. It bypasses any concerns about whether delays were caused by the Royal Mail or the DWP because it provides proof of delivery within the time stated.

The decision took about a month to come back. It confirmed Mrs Mike’s benefit would continue at the highest rates possible.

So that is my advice for anybody going through the benefit review process:

  1. Seek expert advice on filling out the form because they must provide specific information that the DWP must see before it awards any points.
  2. Contact the DWP and ask for an extension on the deadline if its letter arrived late.
  3. Seek evidence from anybody who has experience of the claimant’s disability. The worst that can happen is they decline to provide it. Don’t be put off asking your doctor.
  4. When you post the form back, make sure the DWP has to sign for it to confirm that it has been received.

These are measures that work.

They deprive the DWP of any excuse to blame another organisation for delays in processing a claim.

And they ensure that your benefit payments are disrupted by any nonsense if the DWP claims that you haven’t returned your form.

Source: DWP and Royal Mail dispute cause of PIP delays – Disability News Service

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The Queen hasn’t been ‘cancelled’ just because students have taken a photo of her off their wall

Is she bothered? Some students have taken a photo print of her down from their common room wall. So what?

The ‘silly season’ has arrived early this year.

Those purveyors of hysterical (in both senses) tabloid stories at Guido Fawkes blog have got their knickers in a tizzy after graduate students at the Middle Common Room of Magdalen College, Oxford, agreed to take down a photo print of the Queen that has been up since 2013.

Presumably they wanted to use the space for something else – for a while, at least.

Guido seems to resent this display of democracy. “Stalin would be proud,” the article claimed – indicating that the author doesn’t have much understanding of the way the late Russian dictator worked. It would be more Stalinist to demand that the portrait remain up after the students voted to remove it.

So, it seems, does Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who appears to have provided his opinion: “Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the United Kingdom. During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

That may be his opinion but it has nothing to do with the students’ decision.

Other examples of misdirection in the article (spotted by the much higher-quality Zelo Street) are:

  • The image that has been removed isn’t a portrait – it’s a print of a photograph. For all we know, it might have had to come down because, after eight years on the wall, it’s probably a bit tatty by now. Guido‘s claim that it may be auctioned therefore lacks credibility.
  • Guido states that the college had voted to “scrap” the Queen, and this is simply untrue. College authorities had nothing to do with the decision by graduate students. It follows that the college didn’t agree to anything.

Still, why should the newspapers let the facts get in the way of a good scandal? Both the Heil (Mail) and the Brexit (Express) took joy in regurgitating the claims.

Outrage as Oxford students vote to axe Queen, screamed the HeilHow dare they! Oxford students cancel our Queen, screeched the Brexit.

And very foolish they look too – now. Here are some more rational reactions:

Yes indeed – mention of the former Ms Markle raised a pertinent point:

Last word must be this little reminder:

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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Red faces over ‘RedThroat’ as reporters line up to say Greensill leaks were NOT from Labour mole

David Cameron: there are genuine concerns about his conduct on behalf of Greensill – so why is a columnist for a Tory rag trying to make trouble for the whistleblowers?

The trouble with Dan Hodges’ assertion that a Labour Party mole leaked embarrassing information about the Greensill scandal is that a falsehood can go around the world before the facts have got their boots on.

In this case, the refutations have come fast – and there have been a lot of them – but the implication that this huge scandal has been fabricated by Labour will undoubtedly be taken up by the Tory-supporting trolls for use in the future.

Here’s Hodges:

In the article, he writes:

‘It’s pretty clear we’ve got a Labour mole inside Government,’ a Minister tells me. ‘There were suspicions before the Greensill affair, but this has basically confirmed it. It’s the only explanation for where all this stuff is coming from.’

Alternatively…

Tim Fenton, over on Zelo Street, has described the Tory frenzy to find Labour moles as “Amateur hour at the paranoia bar” and his article is well worth reading.

Even Gabriel Pogrund over at The Sunday Times, who seems to hate Labour so much that he published lies about This Writer (for which the paper later had to publish a humiliatingly-lengthy retraction), had to agree that Hodges is wrong here:

I wonder whether this is a thinly-veiled attempt to unmask the alleged moles, so the Tories can root them out of Whitehall.

If so, it is to be resisted.

Tory corruption is rampant and they are hardly likely to broadcast their misdeeds willingly.

We need whistleblowers in Whitehall to tell us what these people are really doing with our money.

We should not sit back and allow them to be punished for their honesty.

Of course, Hodges won’t take any punishment for publishing a falsehood.

Undoubtedly his article has boosted sales/reads of his rag, the Mail on Sunday.

As an ex-newspaper hack, This Writer can assure you that such a boost was all that its bosses wanted.

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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Rashford comes under media attack – but he’s done nothing wrong!

Marcus Rashford: Here’s a man who stands up for people who would otherwise suffer at the hands of a cruel government. What he does in his spare time, with his own cash, is his own business. What does the Daily Mail stand for?

This is classism and possibly racism from the Daily Mail.

The newspaper- if you really want to dignify it with that description – ran a story that footballer Marcus Rashford has bought five houses worth £2 million.

What business is it of ours? It’s his money and what he does with it is his concern.

Here’s the tell, in the headline: “Campaigning football star Marcus Rashford has bought five luxury homes…”

Oh, now we get it! He’s under attack because he dared to campaign for the Conservative government to actually face up to its responsibilities and look after people its policies are harming.

Rashford responded:

He realised there was a dog whistle in this – and he wasn’t the only one.

Many people saw it as racism:

The most sinister aspect of this is that it comes across as a prelude; there will be worse to follow. Gary Lineker knows the score:

Happily, this is a tactic that has backfired; the Mail will lose support because of this:

NHS Million’s decision is perfectly understandable and This Writer hopes others will follow it.

I wish I could do the same but This Site (and others) has to debunk the nonsense these mass-media extremists use to pollute our political consciousness.

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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Starmer and Rayner want to link Corbyn with something unacceptable. How about this?

The above is a screenshot of a tweet sent by John Stevens, deputy political editor of the Daily Mail, responding to a message of gratitude by Jeremy Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez, for the many floral gifts he has received from supporters since the suspension of his Labour Party membership.

The suggestion that the flowers should be fashioned into a wreath is appalling and unacceptable, as it could be construed as wishing death on Corbyn.

Stevens claims it isn’t. He says it refers to one of the incidents in which it was alleged that Corbyn displayed anti-Semitism – laying a wreath at a graveyard where anti-Semite terrorists were buried. This in itself is a perversion of the facts as the terrorists were buried elsewhere.

In any event, the tweet was sent to Corbyn’s wife, and may therefore be considered threatening no matter what excuse this hack tries to use. That’s certainly how most of Twitter sees it:

Considering that the apparent incitement of violence against Corbyn resulted from Labour’s decision to suspend his party membership, one would expect current party leader Keir Starmer to leap into action, denouncing Stevens and demanding action by the appropriate law guardians (and Twitter).

Ah, but Starmer has just spent the last seven months courting the right-wing press in a vain attempt to get some positive coverage of his pathetic innings as Labour leader.

He hasn’t lifted a finger, even to type an angry tweet.

And, Labour members, you can be sure that he wouldn’t help you, either. It’s one of the reasons he must be rooted out of Labour as soon as possible; he’s only in it for himself.

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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