Tag Archives: Michael

Gove rebuked for fiddling the figures on post-Brexit trade

The UK Statistics Authority has delivered an official reprimand to Michael Gove and his Cabinet Office for faking the figures on post-Brexit trade.

The Road Haulage Association published the results of a survey in February, showing that the volume of exports to the EU fell by more than two-thirds (68 per cent) in January, immediately after the UK finally severed its membership of the European Union.

Gove’s Cabinet Office then pretended that the RHA was wrong, stating that “inbound and outbound flows (across all UK ports) were close to normal, at 95% outbound and 96% inbound, in spite of the impact of Covid lockdowns on trade.”

The UKSA’s reprimand pointed out that the Cabinet Office’s response contained “claims based on unpublished data, and as such these figures cannot be verified”.

Worse still, it referred only to “flows” of lorries, and not to the amount of freight they were carrying.

It is entirely possible that the number of lorries going out to the EU was almost as high from January 1 onwards as they had been before.

But the claim that exports had dropped by two-thirds is also likely to be true if most of those lorries were empty – and they were.

Gove has been caught trying to mislead the public over this important issue. By rights he should resign. But does anybody think he will?

Source: UK Statistics Authority rebukes Gove over Brexit figures | Brexit | The Guardian

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Ex-head of OFSTED says teachers should be prepared to lose lives to Covid. Haven’t they?

Sacrifice: Sir Michael Wilshaw looks like he’s forced more than a few people to fall on their swords.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, former head of schools inspection organisation Ofsted who was once dubbed its “Dirty Harry”, has come out as the latest ex-government employee to have sawdust between his ears.

Watch this if you’ve got the stomach for it:

Of course, teachers have already lost their lives. This fool doesn’t understand his subject – and that’s a terrible indictment against a school inspector.

And yes – as a commenter on the tweet stated – healthcare workers deserve better than to have their deaths described as some kind of worthy sacrifice.

But worst of all, this school inspector has belittled the commitment of teachers up and down the UK.

Teachers have gone to enormous lengths during the Covid-19 crisis.

Most particularly, they have done all the could to ensure the safety, both of school staff and pupils – which is more than has been managed by either Sir Wilshaw or the government he used to serve.

Source: Ex Head of OFSTED: Teachers should be prepared to give their lives… – Dorset Eye

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Since Brexit the UK has lost 68% of exports to its biggest market – because Gove ignored the experts

Michael Gove says the UK has had enough of experts: it seems his Chelsea scarf has cut off the supply of blood to his brain.

Now we know why senior Tories have been quietly telling us we’ll have to wait a number of years before seeing the benefit (ha ha) of Brexit.

I notice that the number of years mentioned seems to vary between five and 50. That also tells us much.

But it is our memories that we should be consulting. We were told that Brexit would take us out of the shadow of the EU and into the “sunlit uplands” of independence (even though we were never dependent on the European Union, when the UK was a member).

That was the happy fantasy; this is the bitter fact:

The volume of exports going through British ports to the EU fell by a staggering 68% last month compared with January last year, mostly as a result of problems caused by Brexit.

It’s a drop of two-thirds – a disastrous amount for any country. For the fifth-richest in the world, it signals a precipitous fall to a place much lower in the international wealth rankings.

And there must be no passing of blame. Responsibility lies firmly with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, it seems – who ignored repeated warnings from the Road Haulage Association.

In a letter to Gove dated 1 February, the RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, also told the minister he and his officials had repeatedly warned over several months of problems and called for measures to lessen difficulties – but had been largely ignored.

In addition to the 68% fall-off in exports, about 65%-75% of vehicles that had come over from the EU were going back empty because there were no goods for them to return with, due to hold-ups on the UK side, and because some UK companies had either temporarily or permanently halted exports to the EU.

“I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts,” he said.

Ah, well. We all know Michael Gove’s views about experts.

Yes indeed. Mr Gove said the people of the UK had had enough of experts getting it wrong all the time.

Unfortunately for him, it seems the experts – and, yes, they do come from an organisation that can be reduced to an acronym – were right and he was wrong.

I wonder how many billions of pounds he has cost his fellow UK citizens?

Source: Fury at Gove as exports to EU slashed by 68% since Brexit | Brexit | The Guardian

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Michael Gove update: he hasn’t resigned, so he’s gone on telly to be humiliated

Michael Gove: he was put in charge of handing out procurement contracts for PPE. They went to his friends, the equipment didn’t arrive, and tens of thousands died. Then he went on GMB and had to explain why the UK’s Covid-19 death rate is so high.

Surely resigning would have been a kinder way out?

Michael Gove made an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today (December 9).

Was it to make good on his vow about what he’d do if the international law-breaking clauses in the Internal Market Bill were removed, and resign on air?

Alas, no.

Nothing was said about the Cabinet Office Minister’s promise.

It seems to be yet another one that he’s breaking without even commenting on it.

Instead we were treated to the joy of Gove being hammered by Piers Morgan over the UK’s extremely high Covid-19 mortality rate.

Asked about Germany, he blithely responded that that country may have a higher population but it has lower population density, making it more difficult for the virus to infect and kill people.

So Morgan asked him why South Korea, with a much higher population density, had still suffered fewer deaths than the UK. And Gove was stumped:

Wouldn’t it have been easier all around if Gove had just resigned over the Brexit gaff? Isn’t he just prolonging the agony for all of us by staying in his job?

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Brexit: now we’re all waiting for Michael Gove to resign. Here’s the reason

Gove: this image was made for a completely different story but… oh, it fits this one so well, don’t you think?

Will he or won’t he?

Once upon a time, after the Johnson government reneged on the Withdrawal Agreement by launching a new Bill that promised to break international law by changing border rules for Northern Ireland that had been agreed with the EU, Michael Gove said a very silly thing.

You can see it in this clip, around 19 seconds in:

Last night it seemed his job was safe, when 357 Tory MPs reinstated those clauses in the Internal Market Bill after the Lords had removed them.

Today? Not so much… Gove himself cut them right back out again, in a desperate bid to appease EU officials who won’t sign a trade deal otherwise.

This is a major defeat for the Conservatives and for Gove in particular.  They all swore that they would never let the EU dictate the UK’s internal borders and they have all buckled under and done as they were told, like a flock of expensive-suited sheep.

And it seems everybody is asking the same question:

He’s really upset the Brexiters…

I mean, really

So it might be just as well for him to take a back seat for a while.

Well – we’re waiting.

And I’ve seen no announcement from Mr Gove – yet.

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Hancock, Rees-Mogg and Fabricant LIE about vaccine to make Brexit look good

Rees-Mogg: he seems to subscribe to the view that Goebbels claimed to have swiped from the British – that if you tell a lie big enough, people will believe it is a fact.

These Tory liars really are grotesque, aren’t they?

In order to make Brexit look like A Good Thing, they have pretended that the reason the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine won approval from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is because the UK is no longer in the European Union.

See for yourself:

MRHA chief executive June Raine has made it perfectly clear that EU rules still apply and the vaccine was approved under those rules:

For clarity:

This Writer heard some time ago that Boris Johnson was desperate to get a vaccine approved in the UK before any other country – hence his haste to support the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that subsequently ran into difficulties.

Now his reason seems clear: he wanted to sell us a big lie about Brexit and thought he could hang it on a vaccine announcement.

But it hasn’t worked.

Brexit had nothing to do with the vaccine’s approval.

And in any case, this is not a single nation’s achievement.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was developed by a US/German company whose scientists are mostly of Turkish origin, if I recall correctly.

If they hadn’t invented it, the MHRA couldn’t have approved it – under European Union rules.

It’s an international effort – in this time of impending Brexit, there probably could be no better advert for countries working together.

And these Tory liars tried to fool you into thinking it was a victory for the UK going it alone because they think you’re too stupid to work out the facts. Contemptible.

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People are still saying Covid-19 isn’t real. Let’s hear from some people who have had it

Michael Rosen: he may have permanent hearing loss in his left ear because of Covid-19 but you go on saying it’s just the ‘flu if it helps you sleep at night. Or until it happens to you.

You know the story. You’ve probably heard it from somebody you know.

It’s the one that says Covid-19 doesn’t exist; that it’s just the ‘flu. “I mean no more people have died of it than die of ‘flu, right?”

We’ll skim over the fact that it isn’t over yet, and that it hasn’t taken as many lives as it would have without lockdown, social distancing and all the other restrictions that – albeit belatedly – have been imposed to improve our life expectancies.

These people tend never to have met anybody who has actually had Covid-19.

So here’s BBC correspondent Lucy Adams, who contracted the virus way back in March:

My limbs and head ached, my throat burned and my head was foggy… I could … walk the kids round the block to get them some fresh air but then I would sleep all afternoon.

After seven days my temperature went up from a fever of 37.7C (100F) to a burning hot 39.4C (103F) and stayed there for 10 days. The pain in my back was agony.

The illness lingered. I couldn’t sleep. I felt nauseous and had horrific abdominal pain. I sweated and shivered all the time. I couldn’t stand up but lying down was painful.

My daughter and I both got a full body rash and lost our sense of taste and smell.

Then came the breathlessness. First from walking up the stairs. Then just lying in bed, it felt impossible to fill my lungs.

Here’s the thing: it didn’t go away.

By the time I had been sick for seven weeks I remember telling my brother I felt ashamed for being off work for so long.

The NHS suggested Covid would last about two weeks yet I was still getting fevers and palpitations and so many other symptoms after two months.

And now – seven months later?

On good days I can go for a slow walk – pausing to sit on pavements and fallen trees to catch my breath. I can hold a conversation and pass myself off as fairly normal. On bad days it feels impossible to move from bed. The mattress feels like a ship rolling in a rough sea, my hands shake, my vision blurs, I struggle for breath, my body shivers and vibrates, and every sound cuts through my head like shattered glass.

I can still do things but every action has repercussions. If I empty the whole dishwasher at once I might get a migraine so I do one layer at a time. If I go for a walk, I have to go straight to bed afterwards. If I walk too far I might end up with a fever. Vertigo, brain fog, tremors and heart palpitations come and go as they please. And there’s the constant sinking fatigue – plus a gnawing anxiety because I don’t know when I will get better.

And no-one seems to know what is happening in my body.

Those are the words of a woman with so-called “Long Covid”. Does it read like ‘flu to you?

Alternatively, let’s consider somebody who had the short version of Covid-19. He nearly died – but of course that happens to people with ‘flu, too.

Here’s Michael Rosen – the ex-Children’s Laureate. He tweeted about his own experience after Spencer Morgan (whoever he is) suggested Covid was no worse than ‘flu:

A couple of days ago, he reported a new development:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to risk microbleeds in my brain that damage any of my senses.

I don’t want blood clots in my lungs. I don’t want to lose my sight, hearing, or the feeling in my toes.

certainly don’t want vertigo, brain fog, tremors and heart palpitations that come and go as they please, and as a long-term sufferer of cluster headaches (now acknowledged by the NHS as the condition that causes the most excruciating pain a person can have) I absolutely do not want any more migraines.

So, hey, let’s all… I don’t know… give Covid-19 the benefit of the doubt, eh? And let’s do everything we can to make sure we can’t get it, and nobody near us spreads it to other people we know. I know it will be hard with the schools still open.

Let’s put on the masks; let’s keep our respective distances from people nearby. Let’s remember that it isn’t forever; it’s just for a little longer.

Shall we give it a go?

Source: BBC correspondent: ‘Long Covid has left me exhausted for seven months’ – BBC News

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#Lockdown2 highlights the Tory way: lie in haste – deny at leisure

Robert Jenrick: every time he turns up he’s telling a different story.

The Johnson government’s promises about its November lockdown in England – and the effect it will have on the other UK countries – are falling apart. Quelle surprise.

It should be clear to even the most casual spectator that it is now the Tory way to make wild promises alongside a major announcement of this kind, in order to put people off their guard.

They then renege on those promises in the days following the announcement – if they aren’t called out on the falsehoods first.

So here we see Boris Johnson telling the House of Commons that there will be funding to keep employees in furlough – across the UK, even in countries where lockdown does not coincide exactly with that in England…

… and Robert Jenrick, not 24 hours later, confirming that it won’t.

Kay Burley’s response to Jenrick is well worth preserving here:

“Don’t worry about repeating yourself, it’s very important to the people of Scotland. It might make the difference between being able to feed their families and not.”

That also applies to Wales; it applies to Northern Ireland.

Water off a duck’s back to Jenrick, though. He genuinely couldn’t care less if your kids starve.

The lie was told by Boris Johnson to the leader of the Scottish Tories, Douglas Ross – but people all over Scotland will be harmed because of it:

Perhaps less critically-important is the ability to play tennis and golf.

Michael Gove said on Sunday that tennis courts and golf courses would be open during the lockdown. Jenrick then merrily told BBC Breakfast News that they wouldn’t:

Worst of it all is that we can’t trust a word that Jenrick said – and I’m not referring to the fact that, in terms of corruption, he’s as bent as a nine-pound note.

Consider the knot into which he tied himself when talking about the new plan to test everybody in Liverpool for Covid-19:

Oh, really?

So how many tests are available to Liverpool, then?

He didn’t know.

It’s another test, track and trace disaster-in-the-making – and another Tory lie.

I don’t think any UK country will get furlough cash after December 2; Johnson just said that to keep us all quiet.

I don’t particularly care about tennis courts and golf courses but I’m sure those who do will be upset that they must close. In fact, all sporting facilities, including local gyms (for example) perform a vital function for not just physical but also mental health, and there is a strong argument for keeping them open that the Johnson government won’t hear, because it isn’t actually interested in our health at all.

And I certainly don’t think a Labour city like Liverpool is going to get the benefit of a decent Covid-19 testing system when the Tories haven’t managed it anywhere else in the UK!

The tactic is clear: say what people want to hear – because the line can always be changed tomorrow.

Next week the Tories and their Twitter trolls will be denying that they ever misled us – and that will be another lie to add to the list.

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‘WHAT?’ Even Theresa May is shocked by Gove’s flapdoodle about post-Brexit security

Bewilderment: Theresa May actually said, “What?” in the middle of Michael Gove’s answer to her question, it made so little sense.

If you saw Theresa May’s reaction to Michael Gove in Parliament this afternoon (October 19), you might have had a lot of sympathy for her.

The former prime minister spent her entire term in office wrestling with the problems raised by Brexit, so when Gove’s responded to a serious question about security with a mouthful of bafflegab, it’s no wonder she did what she did.

She had asked: “The government appears resigned to the prospect of no deal, yet one area in which they should not be resigned to the prospect of no deal is in security. I note that my Right Honourable friend made no mention of security in his statement this afternoon, and the prime minister made no reference to security in his letter to Parliamentarians on 16th October. So will my Rt Hon friend confirm that if the UK walks away with no deal, then our police and other law enforcement agencies will no longer have the necessary access to databases such as PNR, in order to be able to continue to identify and catch criminals and potential terrorists in order to keep us safe?”

Here’s the response – and her reaction:

Let’s have that reaction again:

Gove had not answered her question so she was right to react in that way – and it’s reasonable for you to sympathise with that reaction…

… as long as you remember everything Owen Jones mentions here:

Some people have taken to criticising him lately but when he’s right, he’s right.

The message is right – shame about the messenger.

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Michael #Gove in lengthy #Marr interview. This member of the public destroys him with one tweet

Michael Gove – oh no! Sorry – it’s the Spitting Image dummy of Gove. I have a terrible feeling it talks more sense than he does.

If you saw Michael Gove blathering on the Andrew Marr Show today, This Writer sympathises. What a terrible waste of time.

Personally, I don’t care what he said about Brexit, or Manchester, or the amount of money paid on contact tracing; he’ll be saying something different tomorrow, if it suits him.

Here’s the reason:

Yes. It is Johnson’s Conservatives who are incoherent. They say whatever they think we want to hear.

So you must judge them on what they do. And what a catalogue of failure that provides!

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook