Tag Archives: Michael

Johnson and Sunak shamed into self-isolation in U-turn over ‘Covid Javid’

How humiliating for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak that they have to follow the rules for the plebs and self-isolate after being in contact with Health Secretary and Covid case Sajid Javid.

It says everything about the UK’s pitiful protections that Javid hasn’t been in post for more than a month yet, and already he has contracted the virus. He’s out of the picture for the moment because he’s getting treatment.

But both Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are also having to take action, because they have been in contact with Javid during the incubation period.

Johnson has already had the virus. What does it say about the body’s natural immunity, let alone the various vaccines that we’re all having pumped into us, when the prime minister is still having to isolate himself – despite having developed the former and received the latter – for fear of spreading the infection?

Worse still is the fact that both Johnson and Sunak wanted to take the Michael Gove route and opt into a privileged scheme whereby they could keep working but would be tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Nobody had ever heard of this scheme before Gove went to Portugal to watch the Champions League final and mixed with people who had Covid-19.

On being told about the contact, he promptly announced that he wouldn’t be self-isolating like a member of the common crowd – and that is how we learned about the daily test regime for the elite.

He was given hell for it and rightly so.

It can hardly be surprising, then, that after Downing Street announced that they would be on the same scheme – and the same criticisms started – Johnson and Sunak gave up and accepted the inevitable.

They only did it because they were caught.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth [said] it was unfair politicians appeared to have access to “VIP testing” to avoid self-isolation, while Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey asked if it was only available to the “privileged few”.

The u-turn means that Michael Gove should now have to answer some uncomfortable questions, especially after Johnson said it was “far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules”.

Gove didn’t!

And neither Johnson nor Sunak were going to.

So it seems Johnson didn’t make the change because of any principles, but because of shame.

Source: Covid-19: PM and chancellor self-isolate after rapid U-turn – BBC News

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Fact-checker: Gove LIED about government contract with his cronies at Public First

Sneaky little critter: Tory liar Michael Gove.

Vox Political vindicated again: This Site stated that the government’s £560,000 contracts with Public First were unlawful and the government was lying about the High Court’s decision, back in June.

Now we have the finding of fact-checker Full Fact to support that conclusion.

As Dorset Eye (and you really should be reading Dorset Eye) wrote:

“During an appearance on Sky News, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove was asked about a recent ruling at the High Court on the government’s decision to award a £560,000 contract to marketing agency Public First during the pandemic. The agency is run by former colleagues of both Mr Gove and Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister.

“In the interview, Mr Gove claimed that “the court found that there was no actual bias in the decision that was taken by others to award this contract […] there was no breach of the ministerial code.”

“That’s wrong. Michael Gove was moving the goalposts in talking about actual bias. The court was asked to determine whether the award of the contract was unlawful because of apparent bias.

“The judge held that the decision making process which led to the award of the contract did give rise to apparent bias, and so was unlawful.”

Tory liars like Gove are sneaky little critters and you have to watch out for these little deceptions.

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Why should Sarah Vine have privacy when she made it her business to deny it to others?

Poor Sarah Vine! After marrying the odious Michael Gove and spending years enjoying the Tory limelight, now that she and he are splitting, she wants to be left alone!

Normally, This Writer might be inclined to support such a request. After all, I said Boris Johnson’s wedding to… whatsername… shouldn’t get huge media coverage because it was only the wedding of a public servant to his long-term fiancee, and that sort of thing happens all the time. A divorce should get similar treatment.

However:

Also:

And this:

There’s the hypocrisy we see here:

And finally, there’s the very ugly hypocrisy of this:

Given the way Vine has pursued public figures – my understanding is that Meghan is only the latest and highest-visibility in a series – and has tried to influence public opinion about them, it would be unfair to allow her the kind of relief she denied to them.

To me, it seems only fair that even the slightest details of her divorce are entirely appropriate for discussion on every possible public forum.

Doesn’t it seem that way to you?

Source: Michael Gove and Sarah Vine separating and ‘finalising divorce’ – BBC News

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Tory MPs have been using private emails to covertly conduct government business for YEARS

Boris Johnson: who knows how much government business the prime minister has corruptly carried out over his own personal email account, in order to hide it from your scrutiny? And before anybody says they expect honesty from the PM, let’s all remember that we all knew what he is before he won the 2019 general election.

Why is everybody making such a fuss about Matt Hancock carrying out government business on the sly via his private email account now? Tory ministers have been doing this habitually since 2011.

There can only be one reason for it, too – and that is to avoid proper and lawful scrutiny of activities that they know are not acceptable behaviour for government ministers.

Michael Gove was caught using private emails to communicate with Department for Education personnel, all the way back in 2011.

Financial Times journalist Chris Cook established that Gove and some of his special advisers (or Spads) had been using private email accounts to conduct business which appeared to many (eventually including the Information Commissioner) to be Government business. It was suggested that this had been done to avoid potential disclosure of the emails through FOI.

Did Gove receive any punishment for this? No.

Liam Fox’s personal email account was hacked by Russians in 2019 when, as International Trade Secretary, he was responsible for negotiating a trade deal with the United States.

The hackers lifted 450 pages of classified information from the account, prompting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to ask why Fox had been using an unsecured personal email address to carry out government business.

Has there ever been an answer to this question? No.

There have been attempts to justify the use of private emails – Tory MP Tom Tugendhat claimed in 2016 that he had received private advice from GCHQ, the government communications centre in Cheltenham, that a Gmail account would be more secure against hacking than the government’s own system.

It’s possible that he was telling the truth – after all, it has been claimed that GCHQ routinely monitors MPs’ private email accounts in any event. Alarmingly, it seems the US National Security Agency is also privy to any information gathered during these sweeps. Why?

And now we have information showing that Matt Hancock, Lord Bethell, Helen Whately and PM Boris Johnson himself have all misused their personal email accounts in order to hide business they have done as members of the government from lawful scrutiny.

You may have heard misinformation claiming that ministers are allowed to conduct some business by private email, depending on the seriousness of the matters concerned and the level of security to be applied.

This Writer heard a mealy-mouthed Tory apologist making such claims on Radio 4’s PM on June 28. They are not true.

Cabinet Office guidance clearly states that “The originator or recipient of a
communication should consider whether the information contained in it is substantive discussions or decisions generated in the course of conducting Government business and, if so, take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible (e.g. by copying it to a government email address)”.

There is no opt-out. Any and all emails in which government business is carried out must at least be copied into the government’s email system and any failure to do so is a breach of the rules.

Sadly, the guidance note does not describe any sanctions that could be used against government ministers or officers for misuse of private email accounts to carry out government business in secret. This is a common omission that makes the rules themselves a dead letter; worthless.

In other words, while it is entirely possible that Hancock, Johnson and all the others have been corruptly hiding dirty Tory deals for more than a decade, there isn’t a damned thing that can be done to stop them.

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One rule for them: Gove ‘pinged’ by Covid track&trace – but won’t have to self-isolate

Michael Gove: he didn’t have to self-isolate after coming into contact with Covid while watching Chelsea in the Champions League final – because he is an over-privileged Tory politician and considers himself to be above the rules that apply to the rest of us.

Once again, a Tory government minister is being allowed to ignore the rules that apply to the rest of us – because he can.

Michael Gove went to Portugal to watch the final of the Champions League – itself a thing that only people with a certain amount of money and the privilege that goes with it can do.

While he was there, he came into contact with someone who has (or at least had) Covid-19 – and was alerted to the fact by the Covid “track and trace” app on his mobile phone.

But not for him the inconvenience of having to self-isolate for weeks at a time! Oh no! He’s far too entitled for that!

Instead, he is taking part in a “pilot scheme” that nobody has ever heard of before now, in which he will instead undergo daily Covid tests.

Presumably he will still be in contact with his government and Cabinet colleagues – potentially exposing them to whichever variant of the virus he may have caught as well.

I’m partly inclined to say, good luck to the lot of them and they’ll only have themselves to blame if they all end up with the Delta variant (or whichever version is in vogue at the moment).

But he’ll probably get off scot free; it will be a false alarm and some Tory head-wagger will lecture us about what a wonderful step forward this “pilot scheme” is – for privilege people like him.

Richard Madeley put his finger on the heart of this matter when he asked that corrupt Tory liar Robert Jenrick about the incident on Good Morning Britain:

“One rule for you and one for us” indeed. And you’ll have noticed that Jenrick sees nothing wrong with that at all.

Source: Covid: Michael Gove alerted by NHS Test and Trace after Champions League trip – BBC News

Investigation of Conservative Islamophobia is another blatant whitewash

Boris Johnson’s comments about the clothes worn by Muslim women are only part of the huge volume of Islamophobia and racial hatred he has tried to stir up on his own – but the EHRC was happy to let the Tories investigate accusations against their own party and now that report stands revealed to be a whitewash.

An independent (was it?) review into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party has said there is no “institutional” problem – to howls of outrage from the rest of us.

Even though it does report attitudes that make “uncomfortable” reading for Boris Johnson and other Tories, the report is as much a whitewash as the examination of “institutional racism” in the UK, a few weeks ago.

The government has been resisting calls for that report to be discredited and scrapped ever since and the Conservative Party must now face the same calls over this.

Here’s the BBC, calmly presenting the Tories in as kind a light as possible (in other words, very dimly):

There is “clear evidence” the Conservatives’ complaints system is “in need of overhaul”, Professor Swaran Singh’s independent review into alleged Islamophobia and discrimination in the Conservative Party said.

It found anti-Muslim views were seen at local association and individual level.

But claims of “institutional racism” were not borne out by evidence of the way complaints were handled.

The report warned it “should make for uncomfortable reading for the party”.

But it also said it found “no evidence the party had… systematically failed any particular community”.

Oh, really?

Let’s go to some of our favourite people on Twitter for their analysis.

Here’s Ash Sarkar, who happens to be a Muslim who has suffered Islamophobia from Conservative Party members:

She was also able to provide an example of Islamophobia by a very senior Conservative, from very recent history:

She was referring to this:

Johnson’s own comment about women wearing the burqa (or burka, spell it how you like) looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” was criticised as “insensitive”. That’s a strange way to spell “racist”!

It seems he tried to excuse himself with the pathetically weak comment that he wouldn’t do it again, now that he is prime minister.

How is that acceptable? He was saying that he still holds his racist, Islamophobic opinions, but he now intends to deceive the public that he doesn’t by choosing not to broadcast them!

Perhaps he feels he should not be picked out for special investigation because he isn’t the first Tory prime minister to be out-and-out racist filth. Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, that gave rise to her racist “go home” advertising vans and the Windrush scandal, springs to mind.

But apparently these historical examples of racism and Islamophobia are still not enough for the Singh review!

They were enough for Russ Jones:

Also on a party-wide basis:

Some have seen this as marking the right time for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to resume its own investigation into Tory Islamophobia, that was called off after the Singh review was announced.

This was rightly criticised at the time because the EHRC point-blank refused to call off its inquiry into Labour anti-Semitism after that party announced an internal review.

So Peter Oborne’s suggestion rings hollow:

The most that is likely to come from it, even if the EHRC deigns to respond, is confirmation that it is biased towards the Conservatives.

And as far as Conservatives are concerned, we have this comment to put the whole situation in its proper context:

Divide and rule. It is the Tory mantra. They have spent more than a decade encouraging prejudice and racism across the UK.

And they’re not going to stop, now they know it’s working.

Source: PM’s burka comments gave impression of insensitivity – report – BBC News

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Non-Labour ‘Labour Against Anti-Semitism’ boss in anti-Semitic attack on former Children’s Laureate

Anti-Semitic: and this tweet was published by a director of Labour Against Anti-Semitism (who isn’t a member of the Labour Party). Credibility blown?

When it all falls apart for so-called anti-Semitism crusaders, it seems to fall apart badly.

Peter Newbon is a director of Labour Against Anti-Semitism (LAAS), despite not being a member of the Labour Party (it would be interesting to find out if he has any other political affiliations).

Today, May 19, he tweeted an image of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reading Jewish former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to a group of children, with the image altered so the book appears to be the anti-Semitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The caption was: “‘Oh no! A J-… er, I mean a ZIONIST! A nasty, horrible Zionist! We can’t go over him, we can’t go under him, we’ll have to make an effigy…'”

See for yourself:

This is clearly an anti-Semitic message, linking all Jewish people with a racist ideology in what appears to be an attempt to “normalise” Zionism along the lines of Robert Jenrick’s “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” nonsense.

Now, serious questions are being asked about Labour Against Anti-Semitism, and Newbon’s university job also appears to be at risk.

Questions are even being asked of the Labour Party, whose leaders have signalled support for LAAS on many occasions:

Let’s all keep a close eye on this one.

I think some very nasty people have a lot of explaining to do.

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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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