Tag Archives: mural

The news in tweets: Thursday, July 13, 2023

Martin Lewis: he’s really not happy with Oliver Dowden.

This one’s for all of you who want some real news alongside your daily revelations about “BBC presenter” – or who simply didn’t care about that ‘dead cat’ story.

Martin Lewis corrects the record after Oliver Dowden falsely claimed he supported the Tories

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis does not take kindly to suggestions that he supports any political party over the others.

So it was only to be expected that, after Oliver Dowden claimed he supported the government on a point in the government’s Mortgage Charter, he would be… miffed.

Here’s what he had to say:

For those of you who can’t (or can’t be bothered to) click on “Show more”, he continued: ‘…benches.”

‘I am party independent. I’ve had constructive conversations with both the Chancellor and the Shadow Chancellor about mortgage support.

‘I do not appreciate being used in party-political spats. It is correct that I support those specific measures in the mortgage charter, mainly as they were my suggestions (so in a way ‘they’re’ supporting what ‘I’ said) and both major parties proposed similar – but that should not be taken as a read-across to favouring any party, even just within the mortgage agenda.’

This Writer wondered, after PMQs, how many falsehoods Dowden would be caught out on in deputy Prime Minister’s Questions this week. I named two at the time.

This is another. How many more were there?

Join the demonstration to save ticket offices

This is happening today (Thursday, July 12, 2023). Information courtesy of the Peace and Justice Project founded by Jeremy Corbyn:

The government’s plans to close 1,000 ticket offices in England – this latest attack on railway workers – puts thousands of jobs at risk and, if these proposed changes go ahead, there will be serious implications on millions of elderly, disabled and vulnerable commuters who rely on the personal touch of a ticket office to arrange and support their travel.

We must resist these closures.

Tomorrow, the RMT is hosting a national day of action, leafleting and speaking to commuters outside train stations up and down the country. And in London there will be a demo outside Kings Cross with speakers including Jeremy Corbyn. Together, we must demand that ticket offices remain open – click here to find your nearest action.

The opposition to these ticket office closures has been immense, with commuters writing in to local papers, posting on social media and making it known that they oppose these closures. The government have also opened a consultation on these closures which closes in just two weeks. If you haven’t already, please fill in the consultation – click here, select your local train station and make your views known.

Write to your MP

You can also write to your MP and ask them to raise this issue in Parliament and support the campaign to save our ticket offices. You can use this letter-writing tool, created by our comrades at the RMT, which only takes a few minutes to fill out. As the consultation period is brief, it is absolutely vital that we ensure this issue is at the very top of the parliamentary agenda in the weeks to come.  Click on the link and demand your MP stands up for railway workers and the millions of commuters who rely on them to support their journeys.

Sign the petition to make sure the Tories stick to the law – and don’t send any refugees to Rwanda

Are we seriously being asked to believe nobody in Boris Johnson’s office or the government knows how to switch on a phone?

Look at this, which I believe is from the Covid Inquiry. Simon Case is the Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service:

“I thought it was handed over” is legal-speak to avoid actually saying anything.

In fact, we all know the phone wasn’t handed over. Apparently Boris Johnson has a ‘team’, alongside people from – oh dear – the Cabinet Office, trying to switch on ‘Phone 1’, but none of them know how to do it.

They say they fear security breaches, because the phone’s number was public knowledge for 15 years before Johnson twigged that this might be a bad idea and switched it off in April 2021 (if you believe in that sort of thing).

In fact, if anyone interested in breaching the UK’s security wanted to hack that phone, they would have done it long before Johnson got near the “off” switch. Also, any compromising information in it should have been changed long ago. There really is no reason not to simply switch it back on.

Alternatively, since WhatsApp messages aren’t actually stored on the phone anyway, why don’t they all just access the cloud storage that actually does hold that information, as people (including This Writer) have been telling them to do for many months?

While the government was defending itself for painting over mural at one child refugee centre, it was painting over other murals at other centres

This is cruelty for its own sake:

Lords defeat Tory government again over Illegal Migration Bill


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The news in tweets: Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Who thought we could see this again? It perfectly sums up Boris Johnson’s behaviour towards the Covid Inquiry over his mobile phone and the WhatsApp messages therein.

Boris Johnson refuses to hand over mobile phone containing Covid WhatsApps by inquiry deadline

This is more complicated than it seems. If you were to take Carol Vorderman’s tweet at face value…

… you might think she was saying he hasn’t handed over any of the WhatsApp messages he received and sent at that time. This is not true.

The story is about “Phone 1” – the telephone he used up until April 2021, but (allegedly) switched off amid claims that it could have been hacked by a foreign power.

Johnson himself reckons he is trying to comply with the Covid Inquiry’s demand for the information but is working with government security officials on a way to turn on the old phone without creating a security emergency.

But here’s the thing: the security breach happened long ago – he switched the phone off (he says) because it emerged that his phone number had been public knowledge for 15 years. Apparently this means it could have been hacked.

In that case, it seems to sane people, he should have left it on and handed it to the security people two years ago, so they could work out what possibly compromising information could have been lifted from it by hostile foreign governments (or even teenage hackers living down the road).

He didn’t do that, so…

Yes. When will that happen?

Oh, and it should be possible to retrieve the WhatsApp messages by other means anyway. Why haven’t these “experts” tried that already?

Government response to ‘Kindertransport’ lord on removal of mural at child refugee centre is shockingly insensitive

Lord Alf Dubs, who was himself once a refugee from a foreign country (Germany before World War II – he was a Jewish child who arrived on the Kindertransport) asked the government why it cruelly ordered that a welcoming mural at a child refugee centre in Kent should be over-painted. Here’s the response:

Jessica Simor is right: it is incredibly insensitive of this Tory lord to tell a fellow peer – who was welcomed into the UK as a child – that national policy is now to make the country as unwelcoming as possible.

It seems the government has regressed – de-civilised – during the last 13 years of Tory misrule.

The big Tory wage lie

Read:

Why would the Tories say wages are rising at record rates?

Could it be to justify their demand that they need to be held down in order to slow inflation?

If so, it’s a false argument – as Richard Burgon makes clear:

Here’s some proof about the corporate profits:

Sainsbury’s wouldn’t be paying its chief executive so much if he wasn’t raking in the Long Green.

So it’s definitely the big profits that are pushing up inflation. And what is the Tory government doing about it?

Look:

And here’s a pertinent comment on that choice:

He’s joined in his crackdown on your livelihood by fellow millionaire Andrew Bailey, head honcho at the Bank of England:

Is this the reason Ed Balls tried to dominate the discussion of George Osborne’s wedding on Monday?


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Painting over a child’s mural shows just a part of the Tories’ cruelty to children

Robert Jenrick: thanks to his actions – and those of his colleagues, someone should refer the Tory government to the NSPCC.

This should never have happened:

After saying there’s no money for anything, the Conservatives hired workers and sent them to a refugee detention centre for children – to paint over murals showing a smiling Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and other characters, because they didn’t want the kids there to feel comforted.

The minister responsible was Robert Jenrick, who overspent on his first campaign to be an MP, charged the public £100,000 for a third home he rarely used, and has given tens of millions of pounds worth of help to Tory donors.

The decision has been roundly condemned:

But when she was challenged on it, the Tory Financial Secretary to the Treasury – Victoria Atkins – actually had the front to tell Sophy Ridge her government wants to look after children “well”.

Here’s an example of how well the Tories look after children:

That’s right. Tories look after children in their care so well that they send them alone to hotels from which they know others have been taken. And what is the purpose of taking them? People trafficking? Dare I suggest sex trafficking?

Tories know what happens to these kids when the send them to places like that – but they send them anyway.

Would you call that looking after children well? Or would you call it something else?


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